How Do You Know If Your Memories of Sexual Abuse Are Real?

How Do You Know If Your Memories of Sexual Abuse Are Real?

by Christina Enevoldsen

When I was sued by my parents for exposing the sexual abuse that was perpetrated on me by my father, my lawyer asked me a question: “How do you if know your memories of sexual abuse are real?”

He was defending me against charges of defamation of character and intentional infliction of emotional distress so that was a fair question.

Though I was solid in my history by then, that’s a question I asked myself frequently as I faced my past.

I didn’t always remember my abuse—at least not consciously. I repressed most of it until I was an adult. When the memories returned, they felt like dreams. It was like seeing them through a wall of water or heavy mist.

Even though I forgot most of my abuse, there were a few things that I never forgot. I didn’t define them as sexually abusive until I learned the true definition of sexual abuse.

I had minimized them by just calling them, “strange” and “hurtful”:

When I was about eight or nine years old, I was playing dress up with my mom’s things as my parents were entertaining guests. I put on my mom’s black half slip and wore it as a dress. I accessorized it with her shoes and pearls. I felt pretty and wanted to show everyone. I was too afraid of rejection to present myself to the adults so I passed by them on the way to the front patio, hoping they would see me.

As I was going outside, my dad joked to the guests that I would make a good call girl. Everyone laughed. I felt a strange mixture of pride and shame. Somehow, I knew that my dad approved of me “making a good call girl” but I also knew there was a badness attached to it.

Another part of my sexual abuse that I always remembered but tried not to think about was that my dad liked to watch me masturbate. He’d get a glazed look in his eyes when he was sexually aroused. I remember feeling uncomfortable about it, but my dad really liked it and he gave me his approval.

When I was married to my first husband, he told me that he’d been sexually abused by his parents. I was devastated as though it had happened to me. Soon after that, I began to remember that I had been sexually abused. It was more than just a suspicion; I knew.

For years, I couldn’t remember anything specific. I knew that it was my dad who had abused me, but also thought I might have been abused by others. I had the feeling of being passed around.

Many years passed without too much thought of abuse. I divorced my husband for emotional and financial abuse and discovered that he had molested our 19 year-old daughter almost all of her childhood. She decided that telling me and a few other people was as far as she was comfortable with so the issue was buried again.

The Memories Resurfaced

Five years later, I was happily and safely remarried when everything changed. My daughter called me one night to tell me she was ready to report her father for sexually abusing her.

Sexual abuse was again in the forefront of my mind. While doing my best to support her, I started having graphic flashbacks and dreams. The flashbacks, nightmares and other memories revealed that my father not only abused me himself, but also traded me to other men. He took me to sex parties where young children were exchanged. My dad sent me to the neighbor’s house, where the neighbor raped me with a pool cue in his basement.

I also started seeing my childhood memories in a different light. Being “Daddy’s little girl” took on a whole different meaning. All along, I thought I had no memories of my abuse, but it slowly occurred to me that what I thought of as normal Father/Daughter activities were, in reality, acts of sexual abuse.

Struggles With Denial

It was hard to accept those things as real, but they kept coming up. All of them seemed to have a common theme of betrayal and violation. As hard as it was to accept, it was hard to deny that they fit all that I’d felt my whole life and the ways I thought and behaved.

When the memories started coming up, I wanted to dismiss them but I also desperately wanted to break through the fog. I was afraid of what I was seeing but I was more afraid of not knowing. I hated believing something might be there, yet not be able to see it clearly or at all.

I’d accept my memories as valid one day and deny them the next. But there was something about them that felt true and I couldn’t shake the relief I felt that there were answers to my strange behaviors and feelings.

My memories surfaced slowly over several years. I think any faster would have overwhelmed me and left me too weak to actually process the memories. That’s the point of remembering, as far as my healing is concerned. It’s not so much about what happened; it’s about how it affected me. What did the abuse tell me about myself or the way the world works? What is the truth?

Do the Details Matter?

The thing that used to bother me was that I used those details like what color the wallpaper was to “prove” that I was really remembering my abuse correctly because it was so hard to accept. But those details don’t really matter when it comes to healing. I didn’t need to know how old I was or which bedroom it was.

The only thing that mattered when I was sorting those things out was what that event told me about myself. What false messages did I learn that I needed to debunk? Seeing the truth isn’t about the color of the walls; it’s about seeing that I’m a valuable person no matter how I was treated.

This is an example of how my abuse memories surfaced:

My son casually mentioned that my mom had brought up a trip to Jamaica that my parents made when I was very young. I didn’t know the context of their discussion but that trip had been a sore spot for me all my life.

My parents had dropped me off at my grandparent’s house in another state while they were gone. The story I’ve heard my whole life from my parents was that I was very angry when they got back. They thought I was mad at them for leaving me and they’ve laughed about that ever since. It’s always bothered me that what they said I felt didn’t match something inside of me. Something didn’t sit right and it hurt me that they were laughing about my anger.

I had two dreams in the same night. In my first dream, there were fuzzy people who were murderers. They had hair that looked like dandelions and were covered in fuzz. With clothes on, they looked like regular people.

I was with a group of friends and there was a man behind us who wore a black jacket with the hood up. I was the only one who knew he was really a fuzzy person. Since I recognized what he was, I warned my friends and we escaped before he caught anyone.

In my second dream, I was getting ready for my journey home after staying with friends. I had just packed up the car and was using the bathroom before the long road trip and my mother walked in. She told me that it was all arranged that I would be riding with her.

Both of the dreams were very disturbing to me. I told my daughter about them, starting with the second one about my mom. Something about that reminded me of my parent’s trip to Jamaica. I still didn’t know what it was.

Then I told her about the scary “fuzzy people” dream and mentioned that I had an uncle I called “Uncle Fuzzy”. Immediately, I felt afraid.

Over a period of a few hours, I had frightening flashbacks of being 1 ½ years old. I saw little flashes at a time. Some were pictures like when I saw my kicking booties and others were flashes of emotions like my fear and confusion.

One of my mother’s brothers was still living at home and got me alone and starting touching me. Terrified, I squirmed and kicked. He got angry that I wasn’t being still. He yelled at me and grabbed my legs and held me down.

The last thing I remember is standing with that same uncle when I was a little older and flirting with him. I felt shame even while I was flirting. I wondered why I did that and I suddenly knew the answer: Flirting told him I’d cooperate and that he didn’t have to hurt me.

I have a strong feeling that was the first time I was sexually abused. Remembering that experience answered some questions for me. In the later abuse, the abuse by my father, I was very compliant and even participated and worked for praise. I knew that was a coping method but seeing how much that first experience taught me made it make so much more sense. I didn’t want to be yelled at or physically hurt. Praise was much more pleasant than punishment. I used that coping method into adulthood and the more threatened I felt, the more I flirted and the more promiscuous I became.

How do you know if your memories of sexual abuse are real? This is how I know:

  • I’d always remembered some of my sexual abuse, though I thought those things were just normal. That doesn’t prove that my recovered memories are real, but they do show me that my dad was a sexual abuser and not the dad I thought I had.
  • The feelings, beliefs and behaviors matched my memories. Among many, many other things, I had problems saying no to men, I acted seductively, I was full of shame and had difficulty setting boundaries. I grew up feeling different from everyone else, as though I didn’t deserve to belong. I was terribly alone, no matter how many people were in my life.
  • The neighbor’s house where I was raped came up for sale during my recovery. The photos of the interior matched what I remembered.
  • I had implicit memory (emotional and physical reactions) before I’d consciously remember an abuse event. Days beforehand, I’d feel gloomy or find myself craving chocolate or using some other coping method.
  • I didn’t only have recalled memories, I had body memories. On one occasion, when a friend was helping me with a floor exercise, she grabbed my leg to position it correctly. When she touched me, I shrieked and scrambled away. I burst out in tears. I flashed on someone positioning me for better “access”.
  • The biggest reason I believe in my memories is that my life is completely different since I’ve been using them to heal. As I’ve addressed my past, I’ve healed my life.

Did I need to remember to heal?

When was being abused, I couldn’t stop it, but I used what resources I could to help me survive. One of those resources was to repress the memories. Just as I used the resources available to me at the time of my abuse, I used what I had available to heal. I believe every abuse survivor has the same ability to heal.

Before I had specific memories, I started to heal with what I had. I worked on boundary issues and on affirming my value apart from sex. I used what I knew. Looking back on my healing journey, most of the healing has come from the emotional abuse, not specifically the sexual abuse. If I’d understood then how much I’d been abused in other ways, I could have made huge progress in my process without even recovering one sexual abuse memory.

How do you know if your memories of sexual abuse are real? What do you think?

Do you believe you may have been sexually abuse but aren’t sure? What makes you think so? What makes you doubt it? I’d love to hear your feelings and experiences about this. Please share them with me below and remember to subscribe to the comments so you don’t miss any of the discussion.

 

I’m Christina Enevoldsen and I’m the cofounder of Overcoming Sexual Abuse and the author of The Rescued Soul: The Writing Journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal. I’m a Strategic Interventionist and Certified Professional Life Coach with a specialty Life Story Certification.  As a survivor of incest, sex trafficking and a 21-year long abusive marriage (now remarried to an emotionally healthy, loving and supportive man), I bring personal experience, empathy, and insight as well as professional training to help childhood sexual abuse survivors thrive.

Related Posts:
Possible Indicators of Sexual Abuse
The Lie of “Letting It Go”
Why Was I Afraid of Healing From Abuse?

How Do You Know If Your Memories of Sexual Abuse Are Real?

122 thoughts on “How Do You Know If Your Memories of Sexual Abuse Are Real?

  • October 25, 2015 at 6:33 am
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    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this story! I am a survivor and now helping my daughter heal from recently discovered abuse.. Your story could’ve been written by my hand… One love prayers and light one warrior to another… I pray for peace in both your and your daughters hearts.

    Reply
    • October 25, 2015 at 6:41 am
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      Amber,
      My heart goes out to you and your daughter. Grace and blessings for the journey you’re on!
      Christina

    • November 4, 2016 at 5:05 am
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      I feel as though at some stage I may have been molested at a young age. The thing is I’m not sure who or when. Iam very overly sensitive to my kind of documentary on rape or could abuse and also feel uncomfortable around my dad sometimes and I don’t know why. Iam far less willing or wanting to partake in sexual activities with my partner and I feel it is due to this feeling of being molested. I have not told him nor any of my friends as it’s hard to rationalise or articulate something that you feel may or may not of happened. I’m mean is it possible I’ve seen to many documentaries on this and have some how felt this happened to me or is something more. Such an awful, weird, unexplainable feelong that I don’t want to affect my relationship

    • February 19, 2017 at 8:28 am
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      Amber , my heart goes out to you and all your loved ones who were hurt in such a terrible manner. I am glad that you’re recovering . I wanted to enquire , I have read a the emotional, sexuality and likes and dislikes symptoms for abuse and identity with a lot of them. I feel as if I may be making things up in my head and read too many things that I feel I may have been abused. I don’t have any clear cut memory of an abuse happening. It’s just I feel uncomfortable around a lot of people including if it’s older men, I was very sexual from a young age. At time the thought of sex entices me and at other times they disgust me. Immediately after doing any form of sexual act I feel disgusted with myself and ashamed. I don’t trust people easily but when I do I trust them over board. And I don’t like people to expect stuff from me and get attached to me. It makes me feel suffocated. I don’t like people to touch me. And I’ve had quite a few dreams of sexual abuse (about to be raped and such) since a few years ago. Also when reading rape stories I feel like shit . And I probably should have stated in the beginning that I’m 16 years old at the moment. I’m not sure why I am sending you this . The thought of being sexually abused is probably all in my head . I’m sorry

  • October 25, 2015 at 6:49 am
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    Thank you so much for writing this. I couldn’t explain how I knew. I always felt something awful happened to me as a child. I had many memories of men approaching my dad and I telling me how beautiful I am and him then his words that I am for sale. I lived in fear saying no, especially men. Then as an adult the memories began to be triggered which brought sense to all my feelings and realization that what seemed normal ( even though it felt bad) was in fact not normal at all. It helps to know that others have found out the truth in the same manner. Thank you for writing this.

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    • October 25, 2015 at 7:05 am
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      Susan,
      I can relate to the feeling that something awful had happened to you! That was my first sense of knowing and I remember feeling that in my teen years.

      Thanks for sharing!
      Christina

  • October 25, 2015 at 7:50 am
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    I am having a hard time deciphering whether or not an incident that occurred when I was an infant took place in real life or only as a dream. It was where I sat on my father’s back to play “horsie.” I originally recalled this incident when I was about 7 or 8 (in 3rd grade) to a couple of classmates, who then notified my teacher, who then notified the principal, who then notified CPS. The next thing I knew was being interviewed by so many people. Then, one day, I came home from school and the entire family was waiting for me, angry and upset. I was called a liar by both parents, my sister, and my grandmother. I told them that I remembered it; I could have sworn it did. Years would pass, most of the physical, psychological, and verbal abuse would continue. It wasn’t until last year when my father opened about his sex life, or the lack thereof. He went into graohic detail about how he thinks my mother believed that he was cheating on him and so on. I told my father that I was not the right person to talk about his problem. That’s when I started to question about the “horsie” incident. I still have vivid flashbacks of it; me being an baby, in the living room of the first house I lived in, just my father and me. Was there anything sexual that took place? I honestly don’t remember. I hope someone or something will trigger a memory open to let me one way or another. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • October 25, 2015 at 8:26 am
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      Vera,

      I hope you find resolution to that. Have you read the book, “Repressed Memories” by Renee Fredrickson? I think it’s very helpful in breaking through the fog. Thanks for sharing!
      Christina

    • December 25, 2016 at 1:54 pm
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      Hey Vera,

      I had a similar experience with my father at the age of 4. We were taking a nap and someone we were playing but I don’t remember the rest. All I remember was throwing up shortly after. I really need to know as well as this could be my token to healing once and for all. Blessings to you and I wish you a great happy life.

  • October 25, 2015 at 7:53 am
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    thank you for all your posts. I am really struggling with memory, and like you one of the biggest validations is how my life has healed since I have given myself the opportunity to believe my memories, which I always thought were unbelievable. Its only since I was raped as an adult, and started looking at how common sexual abuse is, that I realised I was not likely to be making it up. Anyway, how could I know things I had not experienced? and the adult rape took me right back into being a child.

    Ironically one of my memories is my grandfather insisting to my grandmother that ‘children don’t remember things’ I remember it because it seemed so stupid. But in a way he was right, memories are strange things, largely made of photographs, and the narratives other people have given me.

    He also believed that children and animals did not feel pain – I read up that this was a widely held scientific view, that children’s nervous systems were not well developed enough to feel pain, and until relatively recently very young children were operated on without anasthetic because of this belief.

    I think this has been used to justify almost unbelievable abuse of very young children.

    I was abused from about 2 years to 4 years old so memories are very difficult for me. The only things I have are feelings, I just try and stay with these feelings as authentically as possible, and that helps. It took me a long time to believe that people could abuse such young children, and I still struggle with it.

    I have some very strange learned behaviours around sexuality, compliance so as not to be hurt being a major one, its logical and compares to what I have read of other peoples experiences.

    I also found key questions helped me – how did I feel when these people died? On the day of my grandfathers funeral I spontaneously blurted out that it was ‘the happiest day of my life’ and remember the awkwardness surrounding this. A few years later when my grandmother died I felt nothing. just nothing, and always blamed myself for being unfeeling.
    And asking myself how it felt to be near their bed – just horror, but most children can’t get enough of being in their care givers bed.
    and the all pervading sense of shame, and the fear of being found out, that I had done something really bad and shameful. This is still a mystery to me, how as the one who was raped, I take on the shame that should belong to the rapist, but I think its common, and one of the many reasons rape is not reported, the person who is raped feels too shamed even to cry out while it is happening for fear of someone seeing.

    thank you for sharing and allowing others to share.

    Reply
    • October 25, 2015 at 8:32 am
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      Nicky,

      Yes, I can relate to a lot of what you expressed. Another question I asked myself is, “Am I more afraid of these memories being true or false?” I was so afraid that I was making it all up but I didn’t let myself ask, “What if these are real?” That’s where the real fear was coming from and the denial was a smokescreen to protect me from it all hitting at once.

      Thanks for contributing your experience with this!
      Christina

  • October 25, 2015 at 10:23 am
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    This is an incredibly well written narrative about this subject. I was sexually molested several times by men in the family, but the first time I was molested I was about 6 years old, and that memory I had mostly suppressed. When I was in my 40s, I was working on a disaster medical team, and i was the one who would massage sore shoulders after a long day. One day we were watching a demonstration of a new technique. A tall, skinny, male, friend who smoked Winston cigarettes reached behind himself and took my hand and put it on his shoulder and to keep from talking, he put his hand over mine and began massaging his shoulder with my hand. I swear it was like an explosion when off inside of me. I wanted to pummel this friend to death. Instead, I took off to the far side of the warehouse and cried like a baby for about 30 minutes. Fortunately, no one saw me or they would have removed me from the team for being unstable. Over the next few weeks, i started remembering the incident from when I was six years old. My parents, (deeply religious) and some other couples were at one of the couples house and were having a prayer circle around their dining room table. Their oldest son (mid-twenties), offered to keep an eye on me. My older brothers and sisters were playing football in the yard. This pervert, who physically resembled my later in life friend and co-worker, took me out to a work shed. It has been over ten years since this memory came back to me and I still tear up when the thought of “Who the hell was supposed to be watching that little girl? pops into my head. Thanks, Christina for giving me a place to puts these thoughts down.

    Reply
    • October 25, 2015 at 10:59 am
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      Paula,
      I can completely relate to the explosion that you write about. Thanks for sharing such a great description of a memory trigger!
      Christina

  • October 25, 2015 at 10:25 am
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    Thank you for your honest and heartfelt words here. I began remembering childhood sexual abuse 22 years ago that had been long buried in my memory. With the strength that the memories began to emerge there was no doubt that it had happened. For me, a supportive therapist was the key to be able to keep going through the healing process. I was diagnosed with PTSD at that time. It was like a Pandora’s box had been opened one day. It initially felt surreal and with the great degree of body memories and flashbacks that emerged there was no doubt that this had taken place. Many of my friends left me at that time. Thank goodness I have a supportive husband and we are still together and will be celebrating 38 years of marriage next year. I’m grateful to have come through what seems like the worst part of the healing. My life has been forever changed. I am determined to help others and make the world a better place.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2015 at 7:07 pm
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    I always ask myself if what I remember is real, and I don’t have really bad flashbacks so I am afraid that I the memories aren’t true.

    Reply
  • October 26, 2015 at 3:22 am
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    Thank you for writing this. Seriously. I have fights about this with myself so often. So thank you.

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  • October 26, 2015 at 2:58 pm
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    I had a dream when my Dad passed away that he was holding me on the floor of my bedroom with his hand over my mouth and he was on top of me. I was married and had two children when I had this dream. I told my Mother about the dream and she CALMLY said, “Well, did he ever do anything to you”. I thought that was very strange that she was not upset!

    Years later after she died, my brother who was 7rs older than me, told my entire family that my mother had left everything she had to me and it was ALOT of money. She didn’t leave me any money. He told lie after lie until no one was speaking to me. I tried everything to make them believe me. It has been seven years and since then, my brother died at any early age of COPD and I wasn’t allowed to attend his funeral and they still don’t speak to me.

    I was praying and I asked God why did my brother tell them all those lies and caused everyone to just throw me away. I heard very vividly that HE was the one that had raped me on my floor when I was 7yrs old and he was 14yrs. He wanted me out of his life for good now that both of our parents were dead.

    After reading this and other things I had researched, it seems that God doesn’t reveal it all at once to protect us. we couldn’t take it all at once. I haven’t told my family this because I don’t think they would believe me and I also question if it is indeed true. But, EVERYTHING that has EVER happened to me in my life after I turned 7 years old make perfect sense IF it is true. NO sense if it didn’t happen. The way I was treated my parents, the way he was treated by my parents, tec. When I was 9 years old, my parents and I moved to another city and my brother as a 16yr stayed in our hometown and lived with my sister.

    Reply
  • October 28, 2015 at 3:47 am
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    I’ve recently revealed an incestuous rape to my family. I repressed so much of such a recent event; to go on about my desperate living situation even under the same roof as my felon cousin turned rapist that now my family has shunned me in disbelief. While I’m thankful not to be sharing a living space with my rapist cousin, I don’t have many options of welcoming living arrangements that I feel safe in. I’m anxious to even share my situation with ppl out of fear of more rejection much less uncover the details for myself. While your writing is so comfortingly inspiring it also is terrifying, as my family attempts to discredit my untimely revealing to delve even deeper into my past. If I could repress details of something so recent as I did, I’m very scared of the gaps within the memories of my life. I thank you for your strength in creating such a message of healing.

    Reply
  • October 29, 2015 at 9:45 am
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    just like to say I’ve been reading The Rescued Soul by Christina Enevoldsen and Repressed Memories by Renee Fredrickson and I have been finding both incredibly helpful, thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • October 29, 2015 at 12:41 pm
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      Nicky,
      I’m glad you found those books helpful to you. Thanks for sharing that! I passed your compliment onto Renee too.
      Christina

  • November 1, 2015 at 6:38 am
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    Christina, praise God for your transparency. Your story is very endearing and so many of us needed to hear this information m I’m an author of my first book “My TESStimony” and when I gave a section for my parents to read, they were not happy because I was ready to divulge the truth. Kudos to you for helping us bring awareness. Thank you!

    Reply
  • November 2, 2015 at 1:34 pm
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    I was sexually abused by my grandfather. The ages I remember are from 8-13. I recently started having more and more memories emerge. I am terrified. There has always been a feeling in me that something wasn’t right with me. I have terrible anger towards my family and a love/hate toward my grandfather. When these first started emerging I was terrified I was making them up but now I have “proof” pictures he took of me, finding the stuff he used on me. I just don’t know where to go from here. Family is still no support. Started therapy for PTSD and remembering more now is making things worse. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm
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    This could have been one of my posts. Thank you for sharing.
    I repressed memories, to my sister’s peril. She and I were sexually abused for years. By the time, I had full, corroborated memories and reported it to police, they said I was outside of the statute of limitations. I live with guilt for that. I doubted the memories off and on for years.
    Health and healing to you and all within your sphere of influence.

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  • November 14, 2015 at 12:10 am
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    Well, as someone who was never molested, I can tell you that I don’t get memories/experiences like that. So if you are having such memories/flashbacks/etc., you can be pretty certain that they’re for real. I don’t know about the stuff that comes out under hypnosis, but if it just starts coming back to you, it must be real.

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  • November 14, 2015 at 2:26 am
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    thank you Nyssa, that’s really helpful 🙂
    I often think too, that as an adult, there are plenty of things that I just don’t know, and I just don’t know them, in fact I don’t even know what they are, because I don’t know them.
    I’m a rubbish actor and not particularly imaginative, so this stuff had to come from somewhere when I was small and now I am reconnecting with it, believing my self, healing the gap between what I was told and what I experience and felt, so I feel less dissonant, less dissociated.

    Michelle I know I was sexually attacked by by grandfather and other men with the collusion of my grandmother, ages approx 2.5 till 4.5. Historically this checks out, there was not the opportunity before or after that time.
    I too have terrible anger against my family (for not noticing mostly I think) and love / hate to my early abusive care givers, I find myself making excuses for them. (they lived through the war, things were different then, women had less power etc etc all that bullshit, yes people have a hard time but how can there be any excuse?)

    I am 51 now so most of the relevant family are dead, all I have is the memories of a three year old.

    Its like that three year old has been keeping them all this time until she knew I was strong enough to hear, and even now I can hardly bear to hear it. Its hard for me to look her in the eye and hear what she has to say but I have to do it. I feel better after, more at peace with myself, but I don’t talk to anyone about it, I still don’t want anyone to know that about me, it feels unbearable.

    I remember my grandfather saying ‘little children don’t remember things’ and that ‘children and animals don’t feel pain’

    I realise I have been living my life in a state of PTSD without any knowledge of what a state without PTSD would be like, I guess its like that for most people who are abused at an early age.

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  • December 16, 2015 at 11:56 am
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    Thanks for your post. I am 43 and struggling with trusting my mind but strongly belive my father molested me until the age of four but no clear memorys and the memorys I worry that I may have made up beause they are so vague. My therapist says she strongly believes I was and I am repressing it to protect myself and she could be right. I have all the personality issues of someone who was abused and everything I’ve looked up online seems to fit. my dad was a severe alcoholic not violent but very depressed and also attentive to my cleanliness and pysical needs and would bath and shower with me and was naked all the time and I remember being int he bath and feeling it was inappropriate, but no clear details. i felt fear around him and never wanted to see him when i was older *he moved out of our house when i was four and hated it when he called me or wanted to see me. I never wanted to be alone with him. this is the reason I think why. how can I understand this more? I have issues with intimacy, self harm, addiction, trusting people and depression. i also have had anorexia in the past. what other questions can i ask myself to find out whether it’s true or not? i almost want proof it is because something must have h appened to make me the way i am. i am divorced and happy not in a relationship now because it’s easier on my own.

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  • January 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm
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    I have flashes of touching my dad’s genitals and feeling very comforted and close to him while doing so. I don’t know how old I was, but based on how I remember him, I believe I was not older than five. The clearest “flash” is of him in the bathtub. I remember seeing his genitals, touching them, and being very curious. I have always remembered these “flashes” but never really allowed myself to think about them when they cross my mind. I have also felt guilty, assuming I had instigated the touching and wondered what was wrong with me……These flashes have also been just fragments of my entire consciousness, rather than specific memories that I can define. I do remember one specific time, however, as an older child where my dad found a pair of my jeans that I’d worn, picked them up, put them up to his face and took a deep breath and smelled the seat of them. I remember him making some sigh and a comment about the smell being good. I was confused by that moment but didn’t think it was strange until later in life…
    My dad and I have always been very close. But admittedly, for me, there has always been underlying tension. Like in the original post, from a very early age, I knew how to act seductive and was aware of attention from men. I remember feeling so proud when my uncles would comment on how pretty I was and secretly felt proud thinking that they mighy look at me differently than they looked at my aunts (Later in life I would feel a sense of sick pride thinking men might want me or look at me even if they had wives or girlfriends).
    All of this has been a part of me my whole life. I have never felt likecI belonged, have always felt seperate from normal people.
    I am beginning to remember more. I am terrified about how to remember and if I can trust my memories at all. What’s even more terrifying is that if there is something to these memories, it means that I can no longer have a relationship with my father. I am also afraid of what that means to my other relationships. I am very close to all of my cousins onthat side of the family. I am also very close to my dad’s sister. Everyone loves my dad and thinks that he is kind and humble and giving. Facing this part of me may mean that everything I’ve lived is a lie.

    Reply
    • December 12, 2016 at 8:30 pm
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      I know it’s been almost a year since you posted this comment, but I came across this post looking for answers and part of what you described could just as easily have been my words. I’m 18 and just recently cut my father out of my life. He’s always been emotionally abusive, which was a lot easier to remember and a lot easier to justify my anger towards him with. But a few months ago I stumbled across a memory almost identical to yours and I’ve been grappling with it ever since – did I invent it? Did I get the details right?
      Thank you for posting this. I might be a bit closer to sorting this all out.

    • March 9, 2017 at 4:58 am
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      This is the first time I have ever written this down. I told someone once about the initial incident, but for the wrong reasons. This time I’m speaking about it because I want to.

      My dad made me stroke his erection until he ejaculated when I was about 2/3 years old. I still remember what happened. He probably didn’t think I’d remember. He never did anything else to me but he did often squeeze my breasts jokingly when I was a teen, as well as the fact that we would often have conversations about my sexual experiences- he admitted once (while laughing about it) to getting an erection. He has also joked about incest in the last few years (I am in my late 20s).

      He is the warmest, funniest, kindest man. I have a great relationship with him, even though I don’t see him very often. No one would ever imagine that he might have ever done this – Even I question whether it was him or not sometimes. In the last few years I have found myself avoiding spending too much time alone with him so as to avoid any sexual jokes he might make.

      Part of me also feels that I have no real reason to be so affected by this as it was only once and not too serious. I can see that it may have actually just been a moment of madness where he felt horny and simply wanted a way to get off. I don’t see him as a paedophile. Though I say this but will never leave my future children alone with him. I don’t really know how to feel.

      I relate to so much of what has been mentioned in this post and the other comment. I’ve also had a couple of dreams where he and I have been having sex, each time I have woken up feeling horrified.

      There is a fair amount more that I could talk about but I feel like this is enough for now. I’m glad I’ve finally written about it, I usually make references to it in different ways and then rip them up or hide them.

  • January 11, 2016 at 5:28 pm
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    Thank you. I remember actively “smooshing” my memories at 15 and then having them to deal with at 19. My mother suffered the same abuse. I have dealt with everything but this in therapy but plan to do some digging. I think I remember the tip of the iceberg and this contributes to my anxiety problems. I don’t want to go beneath the water but have to in order to get healthy. It’s good to hear from other survivors.

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  • January 30, 2016 at 2:11 pm
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    Thank you , I can relate in a lot of ways, I’m now 47 and my abuse started when I was 9 till 15 the last 5 years have been therapist after therapist. And I’m still no better I find I can’t remember a lot of it and yes I dowt myself some times as age 10 I craved the love a child needs from my mum but I didn’t get it in the way I should of I new it was wrong but sometimes I didn’t struggle and wouldn’t say no as I was scared she would definitely not love me , I was taken to sex party’s from 9 till I was 13 and the day I saw on tv Cynthia pain had died all the memory’s came rushing back .

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  • February 27, 2016 at 8:52 am
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    I’m thankful for having found this site.

    I’ve struggled for a couple years with wondering whether my memories are true or false. One of the memories I have also includes what happened after that situation (I was taken to the emergency room because I had complained about my vagina hurting when I was 3 years old). Several years later l asked my mother if it was correct that my parents took me to the emergency room and she said yes. The other memory I have that keeps recurring on occasions where I’ve been very depressed or haven’t slept well, is that someone is penetrating my vagina with their fingers. For years I’ve doubted this other memory, as I don’t remember who it was that was abusing me or where I was.

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  • March 1, 2016 at 10:52 pm
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    So here’s my story guys i’d love to get any thoughts on it that I can.
    When I was 14 I had sex with an 18 year old and it hurt. The pain made me for some reason compulsively and I mean OBSESSIVELY think about a blurry memory from my childhood that always made me feel dirty. I was around 7 years old and my mom and dad had been divorced for a while so my mom was in this dating kick. She was seeing this guy who we remember as named David, but were never to remember his last name because he wasn’t in the picture for long. Anyway I had woken up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water and he was sitting in the kitchen at the table and he beckoned me to come sit on his lap. He craddled me in his arms and asked me if I knew what sex was. I said kinda because my older siblings had talked about it before he told me that that was what he wanted to do to me, but my mom couldn’t find out. He patted my butt and I don’t remember anything after that. Everything goes blank after he looked me in the eyes and touched my butt. After my expirence with sex at 14 with an older man. I started to have nightmares. I was in my room and and he was on top of me and I felt pain. Thats all i’ve ever been able to remember. I’ve had that nightmare countless times. And i’ll admit i’ve fabricated my story sometimes to my parents and therapist because I just wanted to make sense of why I felt the way I did when I didn’t have an actual depiction of truth I didn’t even have accurate nightmares for god sakes. The nightmare of my vision became very infrequent. Instead I was having spiratic dreams once ever other weak about being in a cage held as a sex slave. There was no actual images of rape just me in a cage feeling cold and never being able to scream. That is another thing i’ve always had nightmares for as long as I can remember and in the dreams I can’t scream or I’m trying so hard to speak, but I can barely breath enough to form words. At any rate the dreams stopped at one point. And for a good amount of time I thought that maybe I had just made the hole thing up. But my senior year of highschool I was in a really bad car accident it was completely my fault I made a very impulsive choice to run a red light and someone hit me right in the drivers side. Everything that I had thought was gone came flooding back. I couldn’t sleep. The nightmares were real again. I felt numb and disconnected from everyone around me which was very odd because I was always an extremely personable person. I barely slept because I was scared of the nightmares. With the help of some couseling they started to disapear again. Till recently I’ve started having compulsive thoughts only about the things a remember and I barely sleep. I can’t fall asleep till 4 am even with the 100 mg of trazadone i’m taking and when I do fall asleep I wake up if not ever hour close to it untill I have to get up for class. I’m not so much having the nightmares, but everything is starting to feel the same way it did when my life was in turmoil. I feel so much constant guilt because (in context) I tell people I have PTSD because thats what i’ve had several diagnosis of. But I have no idea, proof, or solid memory that I was raped. I feel like a liar. And although my story lacks clear detail having ptsd because of rape explains so much of why I am the way I am. My sister has bi polar disorder and my mom was telling me that from an early age even at 3 she could tell that something wasn’t completely right about her mental health she was also switching moods and just exibited different behaviors than other children her age. She told me that for me she never noticed anything odd untill 1rst grade when I was seven I used to throw tantrums and cry alone in my room for hours and not let anyone in. I once got so angry at my mom that I cut off all my hair to get her back. It was just unusual behavior that started all of the sudden. So my dad is a psychiatrist and my family has a history of mental illnesses so in general were extremely aware and informed about mental health so at the age of 10 I started bi- polar medication and anti depressants. and they never did me any good. I’ve realized as I’ve aged that the only time I get irratable is when I am having irrational thoughts and its like a stair case event. I got a 70 on that exam. I’m going to fail. I’ll never accomplish my dream. ect. These thoughts either lead to panic or irratability. I also remeber telling my mom at a young age maybe of 10 or 11 about the memory I had but I fabricated this story of how I told him to leave me a lone and that I could scream and my mom was a light sleeper and ran away. It made me feel this weird sense of happiness that I had made a good ending to a story that I never remember the conclusion of. I’ve read a lot about ptsd and symptoms of it and I match with so much of it, but I always feel like this extreme guilt when I think about the memory because am I lying? Am I living this web of lies? That i’m some kind of surviver? Did I do this for narcistic gain? Maybe you guys have an opinion on this. Maybe I won’t ever get a response because this was so rediculously long either way it felt good to tell my entire story without any fabrications. Thanks for listening

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    • June 20, 2016 at 3:00 am
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      I stumbled upon this page today. I had a bad nightmare and I thought I had successfully been avoiding this particular set of skeletons in my closet lately so it came as a shock. Anyway it led me to googling stuff today. I just wanted to reply to you because one I’ve so far read every person’s story including yours. The whole thing. And two I totally get it. That sense of doubt and guilt and occasionally adding details or lying because it’s easier than explaining how uncertain or unclear you really are. More than anyone else’s so far your story really resonates with me. Thank you for sharing.
      I don’t know if you or anyone will read this but you’ve inspired me to finally share my story. And I hope you read this because I think it will at least help you to maybe not feel alone or like an odd one out.

      Growing up I was always the weird one. After my bath I would run to my older brother’s room and flash him. When we played in the kiddie pools with neighborhood boys, I would let my swimsuit straps “accidentally” fall down. I started rubbing myself at an early age and often had Ken and Barbie having sexual relationships. All before I was even 10 years old. When we visited extended family I always dressed inappropriately and tried flirting with uncles and male cousins.
      But at the time no one thought much about this stuff because it wasn’t a daily thing. Everything was thought of as a “phase”. I was always attracted to much older men. My celebrity crushes when I was in elementary school were guys in their early 20’s. When I was a teen I liked guys who were old enough to be my dad.

      Then there were strange health stuff. I would gag if I even saw hot dogs. I also would only eat sliced bananas. I became hyper sensitive to my surroundings. In middle school I Started having headaches and stomaches everyday. I was always picking at my body, skin and hair. I didn’t like changing my clothes or bathing.
      I also had built an entire fantasy world in my head. An alternate universe to escape to.

      All that time I didn’t remember anything. I just knew I didn’t want to be alone in the basement of my grandmother’s house. Which was like a man cave where everyone hung out. The only memory I had was of crying in the basement alone. Everyone was outside. My uncle who passed when I was 10 and everyone adored him, thinks of him as a saint, even was a detective in the SVU dept… Found me alone crying. He picked me up and put me on his lap and consoled me. Eventually held my hand and took me outside.

      Then when I was 17 and I had my first boyfriend who was 27. We started fooling around which despite everything inside telling me no, I pushed myself to do. We started having sex and I hated when he would go down on me. My friends told me it was just because he must be bad at it. Then one day he finally asked me to give him a blowjob. I started to even though everything inside me was screaming to say no. After 30 seconds I freaked out. Curled up in a ball crying and rocking myself. I had a flashback. Just a tiny sliver. The sensations and smells were all too familiar for something I thought I had never done before. He felt rejected and hurt and confused and pissed. Later when I tried to speak with him he didn’t really believe me. No one believed me including the college therapist. So I stopped telling people and I buried it again.

      Every year or two more tiny hints come back out of no where. I know it was real. The only thing close to proof I have is when I got drunk with my older sister and hinted at it. She was like oh yeah me too. We’ve never talked about it since. Both her and I have felt like we have targets on our heads because of the number of times we’ve been sexually harassed and abused over the years. I believe she was even raped by her now ex-husband. Too many stories to count for either of us.

      I’ve struggled with PTSD, depression and alcoholism. On the surface most people don’t see anything wrong with me. They don’t see the sleepless nights, or days when I hide in my house with all the windows and doors shut tight. On the outside somehow I successfully present to the world a well put together business woman, a caring and compassionate friend, supportive sister, responsible and mature daughter, loving step-mother… Only my fiancé has a glimpse into my personal hell.

      I have no idea who did this to me. How many times it happened or even exactly what happened. But I know it did happen and I’m not crazy and I’m not truly alone and rationally I know it wasn’t my fault.

      I have so many other problems in my life I need to be taking care of. Legal, financial, business, health… It’s never ending and I don’t know how or where to start “recovering” or “healing”. Much love and prayers to all the people on this site.

    • June 9, 2018 at 6:56 pm
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      try getting a recommendation for a good therapist and remember you’re allowed to tell your therapist that YOU’RE SCARED SHE WON’T BELIEVE YOU A or that you’re angry with them etc.

  • March 21, 2016 at 2:17 pm
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    Lately when I see things like this I keep thinking of this house that I was babysat at when I was younger. Some woman took care of me and I think she had multiple sons. I remember one incident of me laying down for a nap in a bunk bed with Thomas the train blankets and an older son walking in. The problem is that I don’t remember anything else and I’m not sure if that happened or if it was a dream. I was pretty young during the time that I went to this woman’s house, probably from an infant to about 4 or 5 years old. I’m not sure of anything, but I can’t shake the feeling that something happened. I have a tendency to block out bad memories from childhood, my mother tells me stories of bad things that happened and I don’t remember them. I don’t want to ouch this too much because I don’t want to somehow create false memories of an event that doesn’t exist. However I still want to try to find out more about this woman, but all I have is her first name, and I don’t want to bring this up to my mother because I don’t want her to worry or think I’m being paranoid. I’ve looked at the checklists of symptoms and typical behaviors of people who have survived sexual abuse, and I have many of them, however as they all say you shouldn’t base anything off of these I’m very unsure and feel like I am making this up because I subconsciously want attention or something. I wish j could look up this woman online and see if she had older sons but all I know is her first name and that I think she was black. And that j am not the only kid she took care of. I often feel guilt and shame after sex and that my sexually is disgusting and that I can’t say no to people. I am always aware of situations where sexual assault could take place and I am very paranoid and feel that I am being watched. I was very angry as a child for no good reason, although j remember my mother blaming herself for working so often. I startle easily and am very nervous around men. I feel the need to be invisible began masturbatin at around 5 or 6 and feel that I don’t deserve anything good. I have only recently begun to have sexual relationships, and often feel guilty or dirty afterwards, and in a situation where I didn’t say no but I didn’t want it, felt guilty and dirty and felt violated and during I just shutdown and let him do what he wanted although I was panicking. My biggest fear is being trapped and I didn’t know I had this fear until my sister and I got into a fight and she locked me in the basement. I was screaming and terrified and slamming my body up against the door even though I knew I would eventually be let out and that I wa sin my own house and nothing could happen to me. recently I had stabbing pain during the beginning of my first period for six months, and had to go to the hospital because on top of that I had symptoms of shock. The doctor had to do a pelvic exam, and I was instantly very nervous and afraid. The nurse with me was somewhat worried for me and she was explaining things to me and was nice, but the doctor, as he was very busy, was very brisk about it and it hurt and afterwards I was very shaky and felt violated. I had to go to a gynecologist for a follow up afterwards, and she had to do another exam, and while she was very pleasant and gentle and warned me when things were going me to happen, I still felt violated afterwards, and had to take a second to cry and calm down in my car before trying to go anywhere. All of these things plus the fact that I am a kind of anxious person and startle easily and often flinch like someone will hurt me when they make sudden movements near me make me think that something has happened to me. The thought has been in the back of my mind constantly for a while now, and I don’t know how to find out what happened or if anything did happen without creating false memories or letting anyone know what I think. I don’t want people to find out that I feel this way and then have had nothing actually happen to me, but I also can’t shake the feeling that something has, and I just really need to know.

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  • March 23, 2016 at 7:54 am
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    Somebody please answer Abby. Her story is similar to mine in a lot of ways. I have 30 out of 37 symptoms on the emotional checklist but very few on the physical. I have completely blocked out most of my childhood until junior high when I started getting into trouble. Even at that point I don’t remember much about my family. a few things but not very much. I didn’t remember any of the incest until I got sober at 26. I’d been doing hard drugs and drinking since I was 11. At that point I had an audio “experience” where my long dead father said my name like he was right over my right shoulder. No one was there…I was alone in a dark area at night and jumpy but it was my dad’s voice. I remember when he died how much relief I felt…how I didn’t have to move to the other side of the world anymore. I proceeded to have extremely violent dreams and memories or “stories” I told myself about my father. I went to therapy and we “discovered” a lot more abuse starting at age 3. I couldn’t stay sober and deal with memories so I quit therapy and decided the whole thing was fiction. I’ve mostly been sober since then but relapse every few years even though active in recovery. 23 years later I’ve gone back to therapy and started standing up to my husband and not letting him hurt me anymore. Then all these other “stories” have come back plus a lot more. I know I was raped when I was 11 by my cousin’s boyfriend. I didn’t want to but I couldn’t say no…..I never could say no if a boy was nice to me even though I didn’t want to and I felt dirty. At 14 I started having an affair with my cousins husband…he was 22 at the time. I use to say I started having sex at 11 and always felt guilty about the affair. SORRY this is taking to long to tell. So here’s the thing. All of my visual memories feel unreal to me – like they’re stories I’ve made up. Before 26 I never had any memory of being molested by my father, my brother, or my uncle. I’ve had body memories but none sexual all physical violence related. The memories are too horrible to be true. My father couldn’t have done those things to me. He always scared me and I don’t remember much about him – he died when I was 22. My mother died when I was 17…I use to say they both died of misery but maybe it was smoking 3 packs a day each. Please help me.. I’ve had sessions of crying and rocking and I even went to the emergency room because I felt like I was going crazy. I heard this little boy screaming at the dog park and it just set me off. NO visual memories just emotional breakdown- fingers in my ears, rocking, humming to block out the screams and crying. Has anyone else completely blocked out all incestuous, violent abuse and had it come back so fragmented. My therapist says even if I deny everything he’ll go to his grave knowing something very bad happened to me. But did I make up the stories about my family or could it all be because I was just raped when I was 11.

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    • December 30, 2016 at 4:22 pm
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      I am a survivor of incest. Don’t really feel like a survivor yet since I cannot uncover anything except 6 very vivid intense horrifying dream like incidents. The memories come In waves and also I go back and forth with it and the true story afraid of what it really might be. Afraid that it’s somehow my fault still.. Fear of abandonment and rejection. They are so horrible And traumatizing I block it out completely. When the memories did come back though I went into shock and was screaming, rocking back in fourth, in denial, major PTSD and was very suicidal. I am 20 and this is the first time being sober since I was 12. I thought I was going crazy too because I had repressed for so so long. I was in denial and disbelief. I loved my father so so much. He was my “best friend” as well as my father. My mom beat me so I always put him on a high pedistool. He always creeped me out but I put that behind me and auntomatically went “no no no”.

      Unfortunately it all made sense though. My entire life. All of my behavioral problems. Everything. Masterbating at 4 years old, competing with my mother for attention even… Ken and Barbie having sex, talking about sex at 6 years old and getting beaten for it it goes on and on. I also maintained very poor hygiene. I was addicted to reading, drugs, movies… A parallel universe that could take me away from the reality of my life. I am finally away from home and can accept this in a safe environment.

      I highly doubt you made this up, each and every one of our feelings are so valid. I totally understand where you are coming from though because whenever I work myself up to extreme fear and and a breakthrough I don’t allow myself because I don’t know if it’s true or not and have not received profressional help because I am an addict who also suffers from alcoholism.

      I am so thankful for this site and hope that it’s possible to recover from this and live a healthy productive life. I am still uncovering but all I know at the moment is that I was raped 2-19 by my father. My boyfriend was also sexually abusive when we first started dating. I hope that one day I can have a sense of self worth and meet other survivors who manage to overcome this and live a happy healthy life.

  • March 29, 2016 at 8:36 am
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    Thank you for your bravery and willingness to share your story!

    I’m not sure if I was molested as a child…I have “body memories” but nothing they really attach to. They’ve started coming over the past two years (since I started dating my current serious bf). It started off as remembering an abusive relationship from adulthood and uncovering those memories, but now I’m getting memories that I can’t attach to that time. Let me say that I have almost no memories of childhood, especially the 3rd grade. Sometimes if I’m really really relaxed (like in a meditating state) I can recall some memories from childhood, but then I always start to get completely panicked and end up shutting down. Laying in bed I’ll remember the sound of creaking floorboards, feeling completely paralyzed, being in my sleeping bag, someone telling me “no one will believe you”. I remember as a kid and teenager thinking that all middle-aged men might have “crushes” on me and that if I was left alone with them they might try to make a pass or molest me. Since then (until recently) I’ve had a history of abusive relationships with men I couldn’t or couldn’t make myself say “no” to. But I’m worried, what if I’m just “making” these things up? I approached my mom and a therapist in the past and both dismissed the possibility, and I’m afraid of it happening again.

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  • April 4, 2016 at 3:59 pm
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    Im starting to have memories of sexual abuse, How do I know if there real or not? I don’t wan to tell anyone because I don’t know if its true or not. What do I do?

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:09 am
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      Grace, something that helped me sort it out was a book called, “Repressed Memories” by Renee Fredrickson.

  • April 21, 2016 at 11:21 pm
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    I have faint memories from first grade of my neighbor sexually abusing me. I am not even sure if they are real because i can’t seem to remember anything else from that year. I was so young and i haven’t told anyone about it. I didn’t realize that the reason i can’t remember anything from that year was maybe because I was sexually abused and didn’t want to remember anything that brings up those memories

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  • May 7, 2016 at 5:22 pm
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    I really need someone to answer me, as I’m completely desperate. I’m 16 years old and this last week I got started to get intense treatment for my eating disorder that Ive had since about the 4th grade. And because my brain has been so deprived from such a young age, it’s caused me to forget quite a lot. This past monday memories started to come up, (because my brain is being fed again), and theyre with my Grandpa. All my life I’ve been afraid of him (I also live with him), have had terrifying dreams where he’s attempted to rape me, and I’ve never known why until this week. I remember being a little girl(2nd-5th grade possibly) and taking a shower downstairs where no one would be besides him, and whenever i tried to go upstairs after i finished, he wouldn’t let me leave until i let him see my butt (he’d pinch it and stuff)… I also remember (and this is extremely difficult to write because I’ve oppressed it for so long), sitting on his lap alone downstairs and he had this massage thing. I remember him putting my hand on top of his and him telling me “here this feels good on your crotch”… and me letting him. I don’t know if this is considered sexual abuse as it was only a few times and i was so little. Someone please give me some feedback because I’m terrified, and this would answer my lifelong question of “why do I have so many mental disorders?” thank you.

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    • May 7, 2016 at 6:40 pm
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      Hi Autumn. Yes, what you are remembering is sexual abuse. Definitely. “Only a few times” doesn’t diminish the seriousness of it. Or the damage.

  • May 9, 2016 at 6:38 pm
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    Hello. I am a 26 year old female. When I was 23 I admitted to my step-dad remembering an instance when my mother masturbated in front of me and I believe she, at least, encouraged me to learn how to pleasure myself when I was between 4 and 6 years old. She also may have forced me to then masturbate to completion in front of her using the same sex toy she just used. It’s different from other bad memories of my time with her, of which there are plenty. It’s almost as if I always remembered having the memory but it was compartmentalized in my mind. When I was younger the memory was more vivid and real but I thought nothing of it. Then it’s like I forgot I had the memory although the images and words spoken never truly left my mind. Then when I was 23 and it finally dawned on me how wrong what she had done was, and how it may explain why I am the way I am. Suddenly I found myself questioning the legitimacy of my own thoughts. Now that I’m older it’s taken on much more of a dream-like quality. Perhaps as protection against the gravity of the situation, now that I am old enough to grasp such a concept.

    My mother was molested and raped (and she talked about a lot as long as I can remember), she is also paranoid schizophrenic so I am accustomed to her full-heartedly believing in her own falsely constructed memories. So this makes me question if I unknowingly constructed what I am remembering. Although that means I had a very realistic and dry-cut dream when I was very young (I’ve always had very complicated surreal dreams) and have remembered it my whole life. My desperation to find the truth has intensified lately because I am finally considering whether or not I should confront my mother about this. Regardless of the truth I know she will not be able to accept it. What’s important to me is whether I can feel justified or vindicated in simply having this memory.

    What I do know to be certain is that when she found me masturbating (I’ve been a chronic masturbator, on and off, since I was 5) she told me it was ok and even explained how if I focused on the “top part” (clitoris) that it would feel even better. She let me share her Hitachi magic wand until my step-dad (who was separated from her by that point) found out and told her it was not ok. Later I found out she knew she had genital herpes all along and still encouraged me to use the same sex toy as her. Somehow I never got it, thank goodness. I know I was willing to talk about very sexually explicit things at a very young age because I didn’t see them, or anything for that matter, as being taboo or too grown up for certain audiences. And that was because there were no boundaries when she confided in me as if I were a close friend of her age, and rarely held anything back when it came to discussing sex or violence or things of a very personal nature. I even remember asking my step-dad to have sex with me when I was still single digits. Of course he didn’t, he has always been kind and acted appropriately with me. I just thought it was what boys and girls did when they loved each other. And even before puberty I was genuinely sex crazed and horny as hell.

    I can go on to say how my behavior and self-concept is a textbook case of somebody who was molested, and how even my earliest sexual fantasies always involved bondage, rape, or lack of consent for some reason. But what really drove it home for me were the details. Like the quality of the light that was shining through the window, knowing exactly how the room was arranged and which room was serving as our bedroom (we switched within the house a lot because we boarded students), where I was, where she was, the computer game I was playing so I didn’t have to look at her while she vocalized her orgasm. And how since then, whenever The Hitachi Magic Wand is used in comedy or pop-culture as a short hand for women’s pleasure I feel sick to my stomach (more so now that I’m older) but still shamefully sexually aroused (more so when I was younger). Just seeing the same shade of blue as the the panel where the on/off switch was located, is enough to make me glaze over and become despondent for hours at time. Or anything humming at the same frequency it did when on the “Hi” setting. Just a few weeks ago I was playing Cards Against Humanity with friends at a dinner party I was hosting and the card “The Hitachi Magic Wand” was played and it ruined my whole night when I had previously been having tons of fun. So much for keeping up appearances am I right?

    Do I tell her? Is it even worth it? Is it even healthy? do I run the idea by my therapist first? Do I need regressive hypnotherapy? Is there any hope for me to know the whole truth?

    Reply
    • May 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm
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      I read over the stories of many others. Is it common, then, to have certain kinds of actual dreams after being hurt like this? Needing to scream or speak but not being able to make the smallest noise, trying to run but either moving slowly from too much resistance or your limbs flailing without purchase as if friction no longer exists, reoccurring themes of desperate attempts to escape your own home in secret or the monster or kidnappers who are also inside will know in which direction you ran and then be able to pursue you? I thought I was a nut job for having these types of nightmares so often. Now I’m starting to see a pattern.

    • June 9, 2018 at 7:01 pm
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      I feel really bad for you, but it sounds like you’re not lying

  • June 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm
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    I just wanted to say thank you for this. Seriously. I’ve actually been doubting my memories a lot recently, basically one that’s really intruding as of late that I unfortunately can’t piece together…and to be honest, I don’t think I’m ready to. I kind of feel like I’m making up a story and I don’t even know if it’s true or not. I guess it doesn’t help that I’ve always been almost unable to gauge myself, so there is that too.

    And it’s reassuring that even if you don’t remember, you can still heal. That’s really good to hear.

    Reply
    • June 20, 2016 at 11:55 am
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      We know everyone who has dealt with these issues has a unique experience, but what all of us share is this feeling that all of our pain could possibly redeem us if only meant that It could help someone else. If you have true reason to believe that someone close to you hurt you when you were younger do not let them or society tell you how to think or feel. See two things about that: first those who are sick or depraved enough to hurt children in such a way often gaslight them as well. Making intentional attempts to create a sense of doubt within the victims mind and fabricate stories outside the home so that the victim appears as crazy or attention seeking or a liar to others. This is so much more common than you would think. Second, be aware of the foundation called the FMSF. The false memory syndrome foundation. I did extensive research on their founders, the scientists and doctors who’s research supports them, and how they have been involved in court cases and studies since then. it would appear that they are not trying to help those who have actually been falsely accused him but are trying to create a verifiable medical condition that can be presented in court as a means to discredit victims and protect their abusers. There is no true scientific evidence that points to such thing as false memory syndrome. And the founders have them selves been accused of sexual abuse by their daughter and then sought to discredit and humiliate her even though she was a professional psychologist and learned person. A person can in a sense forget something that happened to them, or they may fracture , Fragment, or bury their memories deep inside their mind. There are many reasons for this all of them are for protection and survival as a dependent on those who hurt you the most. But just because you remember something later in life does not mean you made it up. Anyway sorry to go on and on but just remember that you know the truth. It is your truth.

  • June 22, 2016 at 2:13 pm
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    A month ago I remembered something, its just an image, a naked man in front of me in a bathroom, it was blue dark and there was fog in the back,I must have been really small because his penis was in front of me. that is a clear image, I cant remember anything after that and the only thing I can remember before is someone inviting me to bath with him, at first I thought it was my dad in his bathroom and I was shocked at seeing a penis for the first time, but my parents bathroom isn’t blue its pink, I asked my dad if I ever took bath with him and he said no.

    When I remembered that image everything made sense, I am scared of older man, I have nightmares of someone trying to rape me and I cant scream or run or defend myself and I feel really scared and when I wake up I cant move or breathe, I have panic attacks in bathrooms, I sometimes feel as if I’m holding an invisible sign that says “hi, I’m easy, come and tray to touch me, or force me, I wont say no”, I don’t like being touched it feels sexual and dangerous, I’ve been depressed since i was a teen, I always knew how sex works, I read here that a girl had fantasies of being raped, I had those to, one time a guy told me he was going to rape me and I said he couldn’t, because I wanted that to happen, its weird.

    6 months ago i was diagnose with dysautonomia, that is a condition of the autonomic nervous system, because almost all my life I’ve felt tired. and that’s how I found a doctor that asked me if I’ve ever been abused as a child, and I said no, I didn’t remembered anything until the next day, the image just appeared in my brain and I got really anxious.

    I was sexually abused by schoolmates in school, i was 13-14, they called it multitudinous rape, there was no rape but they cornered me and they touched me all over, and I’ve been cornered a lot since then. I’m 25 now, and a lot more stronger, I can say no, but in December I cut my hair really small so men didn’t like me, so not there yet, I feel that this is the moment to bring back weird memories and heal completely, although I’m confused, can all my problems have their root in those boys and I took a bath with someone but it was an innocent bath or something did happened?

    Did anyone had a memory that was just an image where nothing happens and then remembered more?

    Reply
  • June 28, 2016 at 12:11 am
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    My sister says she was sexual abused by my father. She told my mom and other sister and they all refuse to believe her or dismissed it as exaggerated or fantasy.
    I’m starting to have memories, but they aren’t 100% clear. I remember being in the bathroom while I was very young and seeing a naked man. It’s almost like a photo. The thing that makes it seem odd is that I see it as huge and erect and at eye level. It was steamy, and I think it was my dad.
    But I feel like it was my fault, like I came in unannounced and happened upon it. I don’t remember anything else.
    I also remember waiting for my mom to get off work with my dad in his van. A reoccurring memory that was happy but suddenly became kinda scary. But for some odd reason I can’t remember anything else during that age range. Not friends, teachers or anything. Just that I was always scared and thinking I was different and people were talking about me and didn’t like me. I was always depressed, overly shy, and scared.
    I had trouble sleeping, but I thought that was due to watching scary movies. I remember being scared to go to my parents room. I knew how to have sex and wrote it down when I was 10, almost like an instruction manual for other kids and left it outside for other kids to hopefully find. Sad. :'(
    I remember maaturbating a lot. I touched my friend, another girl, when she was younger than me, inappropriately and I knew that I was at the time. I was showing her how to use tampons and I didn’t have my period yet.
    Speaking of my period, I can’t remember getting it because I thought I may have broken my own hymen fingering myself? I knew that was bad. But it could’ve been my period cuz after that I had it regularly and I wanted to get it.
    I never bled when I had sex the first time like I thought I was supposed to, so I imagine I broke it myself?? Unsure.
    I was desperate for validation as a teen and had lots of unloving sex with guys I hardly knew well. Relationships didn’t last long. I started at 13 for oral and 15 for vaginal.
    I was coerced by a very old man of 65 when I was 19 to become a high class prostitute. It took time but he kinda trapped me and I felt obligated. I did that for a year or two and starting having major panic disorder, depression and suicidal ideation.
    I left that and went to college. Asked my dad for money for therapy and he refused and left the session. He said she was crazy.
    I felt better after graduating. Got married and after second child I started having hard core homicidal ideation. Got medicated. Still am. Better now except for bouts of depression. Chronic pain. Can’t work. No motivation.
    I generally hate most men and think they all want to take advantage of me and exploit me. I hate looking sexy or acting flirty. I also hate when I see other women act that way. With a major hatred.
    I’m always jealous of other girls and think they wanna have sex with my husband. My husband always flirts with girls and stares at other girls which puts me in a constant state of anger. Even girls on tv or that aren’t that great looking.
    I need help and don’t know where to start.
    I want to know if I was abused when I was a child. I guess I want to fix me finally. I’m scared though. I kind of want to just pretend nothing happened and cope. I’m older now and won’t live much longer, I’m 40.
    What should I do?
    Thank you for your help. Really. Hopefully one day I can help others too.

    Reply
    • June 28, 2016 at 2:42 pm
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      I just wanted to let you know that not every girl is even born with a hymen, and some are shaped like a lifesaver as opposed to a disk. Lots of things can wear a hymen down or break it long before a young woman has her first period or is penetrated. Just because you didn’t bleed, just because it didn’t hurt your first time does not mean anything. In fact the first time isn’t “supposed to” hurt more than any other (if the woman is properly aroused, relaxed, and lubricated). But it is a nerve-racking experience and our society does not encourage young women to become familiar with their sexuality (let alone teaching young men how to recognize if their partner is aroused). All of that usually comes only with experience, and is facilitated only by the clarity that self-confidence brings. Obviously I am talking exclusively about heterosexual relationships and leaving out all the other possibilities. Yes I took some liberties and made some assumptions. I hope I did not offend anybody.

      All in all it seems as if you are quick to blame yourself and label yourself as bad or weird. You don’t need to do that, in fact I would encourage you not to. But I understand it is difficult because it becomes ingrained in us from early on and only gets reinforced by society. That is a whole other can of worms we don’t need to open up right now. My instinct is to say ” there’s nothing wrong with you”, but I know from experience that sentiment undermines the difficulties we continue to face caused by what we’ve endured in the past. Just remember it’s not your fault and you’re being too hard on yourself.

      Further, I would warn against forcing the excavation of unconscious memories, unless you are already in a good place mentally and with many support systems. They will come up when you are ready to process them. Your brain is hiding them from you for a good reason. In my experience traumatic memories may take a lifetime to overcome, but all the while there is still a life to live and you must try to do so pragmatically and functionally. The World, unfortunately does not wait for the wounded.

  • July 7, 2016 at 8:23 am
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    Christina, Thank you for writing this article. It was very helpful and informative, and so were the stories of all of the other survivors on here. To be honest, I never really doubted the abuse. I remember things quite vividly. The underwear that I was wearing and kept for almost I don’t know how many years after, the abuser’s hot breath on my cheek, pimples on the abuser’s face, what their tongue felt like, going into the bathroom afterward and seeing a black bird sitting on the windowsill singing as I was afraid to pee, and the sun shining brightly through the bedroom opposite the one I was hurt in. I even remember what was on TV at the time.
    Six years later though, when I finally told my mother about it she just broke down. My grandmother was the one that made us go to the police station and report it. I felt overwhelmed as I was rushed into a small gray interrogating room with fluorescent lights, and a cop who was really friendly, but a lot bigger than me. It scared me. After that a detective came to our house, then went to both of my abusers’ houses and interviewed them and their families, and then I was made to go to therapy, which I hated. I got interviewed by the detective again, then a social worker who asked me stupid questions like “What was my definition of humping, etc.” Then I finally got to start going to therapy where the therapist tried to read into me. I was so afraid. I lied to all of them most of time, while what really happened was still being pieced together inside of me day by day, trigger by trigger. I wanted to keep it all to myself. All of this happened within a couple of weeks. It’s been seven years since then, and to this day I still can’t figure out why I lied. I could have told them the little that I remembered. And that was just from the FIRST incident.
    I have to say though, even now that my first abusers weren’t the only ones. My dad didn’t live with us, but came to visit at the time, and I think that he might have done something, my grandmother’s sociopath boyfriend, and one of my mom’s boyfriends too, among about five others. I guess you can never be too doubtful or too sure. Sometimes the mind can play horrible tricks and sometimes it can tell you nothing but the truth.

    Reply
  • July 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm
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    Thank you for this!!! I can completely relate. And am so happy to hear of your healing. And the potential to heal. As I am just in the beginning of accepting memories etc. and healing.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2016 at 8:29 am
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    I really enjoyed the perspective and help your article gives. I’ve been struggling since May to recover my repressed memory, I’m not even sure it exists fully but my psychological reactions to situations has had me questioning myself.

    As a child, I’ve always had vivid nightmares of my father being in black and white, just him, and he would be chasing me around the house. I’d had to find a good hiding place and over the years, in the dream, I morphed myself into something so small I could fit behind the furnace. The other reoccurring nightmare I’d have was someone trying to come into my bedroom at night and me locking the door or trying to force it closed with my body. I was between the ages of 4 and 8 when I had these nightmares.

    I never paid much mind to them or to the fact that I hated to be touched by my family and still do. Something about it feels inappropriate as if only someone I’m having a sexual relationship with can even hug me.

    5 years ago I went to see a psychic for fun and she told me she had a feeling of a really dark memory inside of me. Abusive was what she said but couldn’t give anymore details. She described a trailer home to me that I couldn’t connect with – everyone I knew and grew up around had houses. It didn’t seem familiar. I kept thinking at the time the closest it came to was my baby sitters house.

    Then in May, due to a substance I injested, I tripped and went into a dissociative state – something I’ve never done before. I told the person I was with I was raped at age 2 by my dad and told my friend not to tell Susan, myself, because she couldn’t handle it. I learned this after I became sober and there were many other key factors I had said and became during this that have had me questioning myself ever since. I have since done the substance again and nothing like this occurred other than bad feelings about bathrooms which I was afraid of bathrooms my whole life and afraid of ever being naked in front of anyone.

    Some of this seems like a stretch to me, and I don’t think it was my dad that abused me, but I think I harbor resentment for him because he may have played a part in what happened. Any advice or help would be appreciated. Most people have told me to stop obsessing about it and looking for answers because they should just come over time. I’m ready now though. I’m in a part of my life where I want to rebuild myself and knowing everything that I’ve been through is a big part of my metamorphosis.

    Reply
  • August 1, 2016 at 3:44 pm
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    I keep having experiences in therapy when I speak words that I don’t consciously feel or know, maybe similar to Susan’s drug experience, the words i speak are always that my father raped me, and the voice feels alien, but it stops at a certain point, it wont’ say any more details because it says it fears the therapist will kill me. Which I guess is a projection of my father (male therapist.) it’s horrible and confusing, because I love my therapist, but I can’t open up, because another voice is telling me I’m a liar and making it up. It is so difficult to know what’s true and where this voice comes from. It always takes me by suprise and I feel like it’s happening on autopilot. The therapist says it’s true but I honestly don’t know. I wish I did.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2016 at 5:43 pm
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    My dad used to rape me when I was little (im fourteen now) I don’t know how to tell anyone I’ve only told my best friend I don’t know how to tell my family I’m not close to them like that they’re a unit and I’m on my own its my grandma my mom my sister then there’s me who doesn’t really communicate with the rest of them I remember I used to draw pictures of naked people in kindergarten and I got in a lot of trouble with the teachers and my parents when my mom asked me where did you learn what this looks like I said daddy showed me I remember when I was peeing and my dad came in and started taking his clothes off he locked the door and showered he was watching me pee the whole time and when I got up he told me to not pull up my pants so I was standing in front of him with my pants down but I wasn’t humiliated I think I was too young. I have another memory when I was little I was laying on my bed an my dad was trying to pull my pants down and when he did he put his fingers in my vagina i remember I was so scared and it hurt a hell of a lot also I have now a broken vagina my left labia minora is ripped off I don’t remember how it happened I just know that I was in the hospital for three days because of it they thought I fell on the headboard of my bed and I know that it was from my dad I remember him telling me to say that I fell he slapped me in te face for him to listen to him because I was crying so hard. I don’t think my sister or mom were abused they’re really open about that kind of thing but me I don’t even like saying vagina or penis or even boobs I don’t know what to do though If I tell people they’ll never look at me the same way again they’ll think oh she was the girl who got raped my sister will think I’m even more trash than I already am tbh I think if I was dying of cancer she’s call me am attention seeker and my mom would just look at me with her pitying face every day like whenever i talk about my stomach problems ( I also have severe nausea I never throw up but there’s this constant feeling that I will the doctors can’t figure it out) I also don’t want to relive the whole experience again by talking to people but I feel like I can’t just let this sit and grow help me what do i do

    Reply
    • August 12, 2016 at 10:37 am
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      Hi Mega,

      Your father sounds like a terrible disgusting human being. There’s no excuse for his behavior. Your sister and mother seem terrible and unhelpful and uncaring too. You sound like you’re in a horrible situation. I have my own stuff I’m dealing with but I’m almost a 40 year old woman. Just explaining who I am. Recognize that none of this is your fault and that you’re strong to talk about it, despite what seems to be an extreme lack of support or caring around you. Do you trust your best friend? Could you live with her family? Is there any other family you could stay with that’s not an abusive family? I would think the first and most important thing is to get yourself to a safe place. I have no real clue how to do that. Is there a teacher you feel like you can trust? If there is any adult that you feel is sane and mature and has good intentions, tell them your situation as long as you think they might try to help you. Tell them you need help and safety. I think safety is the most important thing right now. I genuinely feel sad and worried about you. You’re so young to be dealing with all of this. Could you try calling Child Protective Services? I just looked up the number and it’s 1-800-342-3720. I live in NJ so I don’t know if it’s different for your area. If that number doesn’t work, do a Google search and find the number for your area and talk to them. If you don’t feel safe calling from your own phone or want to stay anonymous until you hear their response, could you call from your best friend’s phone? It might be helpful if your best friend is with you for support if she’s a mature and caring friend when you talk to a trustworthy adult or Child Protective Services. Please let me know if you need more advice or an outside opinion.

      F

  • August 16, 2016 at 3:05 pm
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    I have a question. I was wondering if anyone could let me know their opinion about my question.

    I have this mental image of my father and me from since I was really young. The mental image is of him being naked and me being naked and almost like the picture is being taken from above. It feels uncomfortable and weird and I think I’m a baby and laying by his crotch. The feeling in the image is weird and wrong. I think I have a feeling of hot sweaty uncomfortableness with the image but I don’t know if that’s because the image is disturbing to me. I’ve always had this image in my head as far back as I can remember.

    I have other feelings and thoughts around it but I’m not sure if I’ve made them up in my head over the years. Would you know if this is a memory or just an image I’ve always had in my head since I was a very little kid. I think the image always disturbed me and caused me a lot of shame.

    My father always scared me to some degree and I didn’t like when he was affectionate with me. I think I would get uncomfortable when he’d come sit by me and put his arm around me. I could tell he was off or troubled, even as a kid. He also used to tickle me when I was little and make me come by his bed and hang out with him before he went to sleep. He had his own room with his own bed. I tried to just stand by his bed or sit on the edge while he chatted with me. That’s also when he’d tickle me. It was sometimes torturous and he wouldn’t stop and he’d get angry with me if I farted. I couldn’t control my farts at first when he’d tickle me so much because I was 3 years old. I learned to control the farting I guess.

    Another thing, when I was in 8th grade, my best friend’s father kissed me all gross and wet on the cheek in this dark hallway and kind of pressed himself up against me. He looked really weird as he did it. I got really scared and told my best friend when I went back to the kitchen and I’m pretty sure her father denied it. I left very soon after. I told my parents and my father didn’t react at all. He looked at me blankly. I just said good night and went up to my room. He mentioned to me for the next year every time he saw my best friend’s father around town. I found it disturbing since I was scared of him. I asked him recently why he would always tell me where he saw him in town and he said, what do you expect me to do? He acted like it was no big deal.

    Fast forward to when I was 20 in college, I developed severe anxiety, depression and maybe other mental and emotional problems. I actually developed the problems around when I started reading a book about repressed memories and tried to do some of the exercises. My father came with me to my first ever psychiatrist appointment. He proceeded to tell the Jewish psychiatrist with the very Jewish last name that I don’t like Jewish people and have weird ideas about other groups of people. That was just not true. I thought he was coming with me to help me communicate my problems. That’s why my mother had told him to go with me. I felt so confused and not even sure it was happening. It did happen. After the appointment, he said that he thought the psychiatrist was a great man or doctor or both or something like that. I was almost too confused to feel betrayed at the time. He told another therapist who was treating me for social anxiety that I have ‘suspicious ideas’ and I’m suspicious of people. Something like that. He used to be a psychiatrist a long time ago in our native country.

    Anyways, I’m just curious why I’d have this mental image since I was so young. I feel like I’ve been molested but I’m not sure. I actually asked him if he molested me and he said no but got angry and got off the phone quickly. My mom stayed on the phone and was concerned about me. She said he hasn’t and she never saw anything like it. She was very firm about it and asking if I had breakfast and if I’m ok. I felt like she was making it out like I’m mental or sick. I don’t feel very trustful of either of them. I have some clues pointing to that he could have done some sort of inappropriate or ‘light’ molestation stuff with me as a baby.

    Another thing a couple years ago, I was telling them I think I remember stuff as a baby. I was referring to cute and not weird memories, like a time with my mother at her vanity table. I genuinely saw his face go pale and look really concerned when I said I remember stuff from when I was a baby. Another time, my mother told my father when I was really mentally unwell and super out of it and staying with them that he ruined me. She literally said that. I asked her about it when I asked about the molestation stuff and she denied that she ever said that. When I brought up the molestation stuff, I cited that I saw his face go pale when I said I remember stuff as a baby and he got angry and got off of the phone. He said, who would do that to their own daughter? I felt gross for asking but I still don’t trust them.

    He has been very physically abusive with my mother 2 times in front of me. He’s made fun of her in front of me, our whole family, and all of our guests my whole life. I think he beat her a lot when my mother was pregnant with my middle sister. My mother says they ‘fought’ a lot then, with guilt or something.

    My sisters act like I’m being a fighting insensitive crazy jerk.

    I feel lost and scared. I’m almost 40 now for the record and I’m a woman. I really wonder about the friggin image in my head and why it’s always been there. I used to have some type of OCD when I was little because I hated the image so much, that I would count to high numbers and do other things in hopes that it would make the image go away. I don’t have those kind of issues anymore. I do feel deeply distrustful and grossed out by creepy men. They do tend to stare and passive aggressively violate my space and boundaries all of the time in public.

    Please let me know your opinion about the image in my head and if it’s a repressed memory.

    Reply
    • August 16, 2016 at 3:33 pm
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      Hi Confused,

      There’s so much about what you described that points to valid memories. The two that stand out the most to me are the perspective of what you think you remember as a baby. That “out of body” or “watching from the ceiling” perspective is so, so common as a way to cope and try to “get away”.

      The other thing is the way your father tried to discredit you to the psychiatrist. What reason would he have if not for fear of what you’d say? That’s such a common tactic too. Plus the way your mental stability was questioned. Another way to discredit you to others and to gaslight you.

      Christina

    • September 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm
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      these images and suspicions don’t come to our minds for no reason, they come up so we can heal. Why would you make it up? We have to trust ourselves, especially as we can’t trust others. Be kind to yourself and accepting, allow time to reveal what you need to know to heal. I know it’s very hard.

  • August 17, 2016 at 12:31 pm
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    Thank you for responding Christina. It feels quite real at times. I can almost remember how I felt in that moment, how depressed and betrayed and powerless I felt. I realized I needed to cooperate and act like I’m cool with him and love him because he’s just completely lost. I realized I needed to be the parent almost and be loving of him? If this thought process actually happened, I obviously had no choice but to take that approach because my father didn’t put up with much protesting or sadness from me during my childhood. It’s almost why I feel like I can question him now. I genuinely cared about him so much growing up. To think he’s messed with me and lied about it, it makes my head spin. However, I don’t know for sure.

    A maybe paranoid thought, since he was a psychiatrist, he could have given me sleeping pills or something. My sister wondered/wonders if she was sexually abused but doesn’t remember anything. Both my sisters have bad memories. We all grew up wary and scared of my father but we cared about him.

    It’s so weird. The experience of having this vague image in my mind always and as I wonder now what it’s based in, feelings and thoughts develop around it in my mind. It’s not exactly a passive or an active forming of feelings and thoughts and what might even be more images and situations that round it out as a memory. I can’t discern what I’m making up in my mind and what could be a forming memory.

    Anyways, I’m going to just keep living and see what happens with my thoughts, feelings, memories, and even my parents’ reactions. I’m not talking to them currently. I know that sounds harsh but I just need space and don’t know whether to believe them.

    You’re the first person who’s told me that it sounds familiar and it could be a memory. My best friend listens but I feel I’ve been met with skepticism to straight up denial when I’ve mentioned it to anyone else. My sisters belittle the situation and shift between being angry and ignoring of it. My father hides behind his mental illness as does my mother.

    I told my sisters that you’d responded to my comment and sent them the link. Below is how one of them responded.

    “Why would dad suggest you take medication or agree with your psychiatrist or be afraid of therapy? Because he grew up that way. Because he was trained as an old school psychiatrist. Because he believes in medicine and psychiatry but not therapy. That women who’s agreeing with you doesn’t know the whole story. You do.
    After my first break-down post gay divorce, dad told me and my psychiatrist that I should take meds. They still don’t fully understand why I go to therapy regularly despite me telling them how helpful it has been. They refuse to go themselves. Does that mean dad molested me too?”

    There’s so many story lines in our family. My sisters just take it at face value. I don’t anymore. Why would anyone be anti therapy, no matter how old school or pro psychiatry they are. Why would a parent be anti-therapy if their child said it helped them a lot. Nothing measures up anymore. I wonder if I’m being paranoid or we’ve been fed a ton of story lines and manipulated our whole lives.

    I’ll stop now. I don’t need a response. It feels good to get my thoughts out.

    Reply
  • August 17, 2016 at 11:48 pm
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    I’ve been thinking that maybe my mother molested me as a baby. She is troubled and had a difficult upbringing, so it could be possible, but it is very hard for me to believe and in all honesty I cannot remember anything clearly.
    I got engaged this year to my boyfriend of 18 months. I am 38 years old and what I’m about to say had never happened with another man, since I never in my life had a serious relationship or lasting for that matter, only flings, hook ups, and one night stands. It is very strange that a few times when I’ve been with him I’ve had to anxiously push him away because I’ve had some weird flash backs of me as a baby in diapers. The first time it was straight out a sensation of being disgustngly kissed in the mouth and touched by my mother! Not sure if a memory or just a very disturbing sensation. Other times I either pushed him away crying or just wrestled with him because of the asfixiating feeling of me being touched over and inside my diaper while being turned on and trying to climax, as a baby, and the feeling sometimes of him taking off my underwear, which oddly feels as my diaper! leaving me naked , exposed and vulnerable to God knows who that is going to touch me and me pleading with my hands not to covering myself crying. Terrible….

    When we started having sex, before I had these episodes, he asked me if I”d been abused as a child. What is interesting is that he was not the first man to ask me that and comment that I was very sexual, more than any woman before them…

    I don’t know who did it, but I am almost sure something happened. I kind of always had that thought but as a long lost event, and didn’t know how, or when, until now, maybe…. I’m affraid to do something about it. I know I will open a can of worms, and finish destroying my already rocky relationship with my parents, and most likely ruining my wedding… I don’t know if I should wait until after I’m married. I can not believe this has been going on in my head. Maybe I am just really crazy, like I’ve been called many times through out my life. I don’t know, and it feels suffocating.

    Reply
    • August 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm
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      Hi Gigi,
      I just wanted to say be kind to yourself.
      I have worried for a long time that something happened to me and that my mother either did it or knows about it. But I don’t know how to find out or prove it.
      I’ve struggled with promiscuity and weird fantasies and needing to dissociate myself during sex, to play a role. Some of that might just be “normal” female sexuality and it’s just our society isn’t used to it. Or I don’t know.
      But it’s my intense anger at her, and her saying odd things that make me suspect my mother. Later in life she’d say things like
      “oh poor people that are attracted to babies, the babies don’t know anything about it, why can’t something be set up where the people can have time with babies so no one gets in trouble and the babies don’t remember anyway”….
      Another time she said :”oh these poor families where children recover memories of abuse, and nothing happened, it destroys the family, they shouldn’t trust the therapists saying the memories are real”
      and one time my dad said he was afraid of spending too much time with me because he and I got on too well and “you know, we might be too close”…
      I feel like I can’t ever trust anything my mum might say if I do confront her. My father is dead now and whilst I did ask about some things he’d then deny them later so it was very confusing.
      I don’t know if I’ll ever know if something happened or not.
      From this site and others I’m thinking I need to just look after myself. Validate my own feelings now (even if I need to bring awareness that they may be trigger reactions from past events – I need to allow myself to feel the emotions that come up. ..and to some extent I can do that without “knowing” if something happened or not. Or at least I really hope I can.
      So I say be kind to yourself, because the most important thing may not be confronting them or finding out the “truth”, but instead it may be more important to get yourself help to deal with emotions and to be your own best friend. To re parent yourself.
      I hope I can do it too.

    • August 20, 2016 at 8:31 pm
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      Susa, amazing wisdom! Thanks for sharing that.

  • August 20, 2016 at 11:15 pm
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    Thank you Susu, I greatly appreciate it, and I will take your advice. I wish I could give back at this point but know that your response has been as medicine to my soul.

    Thank you again

    Reply
  • August 24, 2016 at 6:44 pm
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    I’m confused too. I have fuzzy memories of masturbating in a weird way and of someone showing me how to do it. I was always on the floor faced down. They told me to think about something nice while I did it. I don’t remember who it was. I know I was very young, between 4 and 6 I would guess. I think the person mainly watched me masturbating. I remember the person sometimes lying on top of me, as I did it.

    The images and feelings have always been there, but it has only been in the last year or two that I’ve related to it as sexual abuse. My vague memories have made me doubt- some parts are clearer, but I certainly don’t remember any specific things other than what I’ve written here. I wish I could remember more so that I can really trust the memories and fuzzy images. I know there was no violence.

    It was the weird way I masturbated at such a young age that made me wonder- no young child would come up with it on her own, surely?! I remember being quite compulsive with masturbating all through childhood. I feel very ashamed of it. I had a rich fantasy life as a kid too- dreaming I was in a fairyland with unicorns and magic.

    I go through phases now- wanting lots of sex and then not wanting any. I’m diagnosed with Bipolar II and Borderline Personality Disorder.

    Reply
  • September 15, 2016 at 7:36 pm
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    I don’t know why I suddenly felt the compulsion to find out, but I recently started asking myself, “Was I abused when I was younger?”

    And as I wondered, I don’t know why I started getting emotional. I started to want to cry. I remember being fairly young and wanting to masturbate, and even constantly wanting to put something inside my rectum.

    My whole childhood is a haze. I remember some things clearly, but everything else is a huge blur.

    Now, I have no idea why but I’m scared to know the truth.

    Reply
  • September 19, 2016 at 4:53 pm
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    I have no idea if im ging crazy. But i dont know if something happened to me when i was younger. I found out my sister was molested when she was younger and wont say who but i crossed by am article about a kid telling her mum “he washes his pee pee with my pee pee” and unstantly i wanted to be sick. Ive seen news programs and shows about abuse with kids but this just hit something with me. Ive always had anxiety and depression amd a need to please people, particularly in the way of not saying no to men otherwise i feel ashamed. Especiallu during sex. To the point that i cry if i say no. I hate the feelinh of someone breathing on my face and hands touching my face and i recall my mum taking me to the doctors, having to pull down my pants and him inspecting me. She claims she doesnt remember that. But i also vividly remember seeinh my grandfather naked in the middle of the night when i was really little. Maybe i just went to the bathroom and.he was coming out i dont know it could all be coincidence but i also remember a friens when i was 7 called annie who showed me a book about sex at school. I cant remember what she said and it kills me but i remember her sayinh if i got in her parents van they would take me home. I got in the vam but i dont remember getting home or anything else.

    Am i going crazy? I dont remember any actual abuse but ive always felt like somethinh horrible happened to me i dont remember any of my childhood except those random things. Amd if my partner is ever being playful and tries to touch me when i dont want him to i panic and overreact and get really upset and i never know why.

    Reply
    • September 19, 2016 at 5:04 pm
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      I was also overtly sexual as a child. I remember instigating my little cousin to make out with teddy bears under blankets when we were 5 and making ken amd barbie have sex. I remember being cat called when i was 12 by older men and my knees went weeks i wanted to cry and throw up but i just kept walking.

  • September 20, 2016 at 12:35 am
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    I don’t really know where is a good place to start, so, I guess I’ll do my best. I apologize for the length in advance- I am a writer so Im assuming this will be longer than I hope. Bare with me. I am a 33 year old woman, single and just started grad school to become a licensed therapist. I think that my start of school may have something to do with the issues that have been arising. Maybe instinctively, I know I need to work through some things before I start to counsel others. Anyway, for as long as I can remember, I have always had a heavy disdain for my father. He was very emotionally and mentally abusive, to the point that I terminated a relationship with him when I was 14. I still have seen him unwillingly when I “have to” at family things, etc. Its complicated when you grow up in a broken family with several siblings, stepparents, divorces and so on. In addition to the hatred I felt towards him, I have always felt unsafe and untrusting around men in general. As I got older I summed it up to the fact that my mother was always with abusive men (physically, and every other way), including my father. As I got older (maybe 10 or so) she began healing and I was around support groups and the womens center she worked for. That, I also thought played a role- always hearing horrific stories of what the men had done to these women and their children. Ive carried on my life, but there always been a buried away feeling there was another reason.

    When I was 20, I moved away and began having only female relationships. These were the only people I could trust- women. None of them worked out, but thats where I found myself comfortable. Three years ago, after ten years of living in a distance, I moved back to my hometown. Curiosity got to me, and I started dating men again. And by dating, I mean having sex with. Most of them were attractive but dumb, and frankly I felt they offered me no sense of safety. Most recently, I started dating a man who is incredibly smart, handsome and kind. But, he has more issues than I think I have. He barely ever wanted to have sex, and I found myself frustrated and insecure. I ended things, and was left feeling like I have never felt before with any man in a romantic sense. This lead into a spiral of two things: uncontrollable thoughts and reflections of myself, and binge drinking.

    A couple of weeks ago, it was my 33rd birthday, and I felt I needed to do some reflecting. Why was I so hurt and angry and confused by an encounter with someone I only dated for like three months? Late at night, I took some mushrooms (I’m kind of a hippie spirit and feel that sometimes the subconscious takes us places when we are in an out of body experience that we very well may need), went down to the beach and sat in my own thoughts for awhile. I cried uncontrollably as thoughts of incredibly sad and shameful feelings rose to the surface. This is the second time in a state like this that I have felt like my father overtook my emotions and I couldn’t stop it. I had vivid memories of him making me cry when I was a child, for no reason. He thought it was funny to make me cry, because I was so sensitive. He would tell my older sisters, “watch this”, pretend to be mad, and then when I would cry, they would all laugh at my expense. Because of this, from about the age of 14 until I moved away at 20, I never cried.

    Since that night, I have been having nightmares. Several of them. Pertaining to various things. They were mainly all related to fear. But then after a few days, I started to have flashbacks during the day, of this one particular day when I am not sure how old I was, maybe 7-8-9 years old, where my dad and I took a nap together. I have never been a good sleeper, especially when anyone else is in bed with me, and so I kept tossing and turning in his bed. I remember him getting annoyed with me, and him yelling at me to stop moving. But that is all. I keep re-playing it in my head. And every time I do, I get this feeling of sickness. Like why do I keep thinking about this one stupid nap?

    So last week, my friend and I “for fun” go to get our tarot cards read. I *sort of* believe in this stuff, but mainly I just like to hear shit I already know that I need to be doing so it lights a fire in my self motivation. This woman flips a card, and says “so I see a molestation or rape that has happened to you”. I instantly froze, told her no, and she says, ‘well if it didn’t happen, the intent was there.” Now, these things aren’t always accurate or true or real, but the fact that I have been having these odd thoughts about what happened to me, and then something like that comes up, is enough to make anyone think. The other thing she kept saying to me that resonates is “sometimes you feel you’re crazy, and I’m telling you, you’re not crazy.” I always feel crazy. And in this particular case, I definitely feel like I’m a little crazy. Like I’m making something up in my head. Like this feeling of doubt that won’t go away, but this feeling of yes, this happened and I’m right.

    Ive looked at many resources- websites, articles, my school material- and I just don’t know where to begin to try and figure out if this is something Im making up in my head or something that actually may have occurred. I know that many of the above attributes of an abuse victim apply to me, but there are many reasons people act in these ways. So, Im left feeling like, fuck, what do I do? How do I recover these memories, if they happened? Or how do I move forward if they didn’t?

    Reply
  • September 20, 2016 at 12:50 am
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    Can I just say- I think the worst part about this, is not knowing, and feeling like you’re making something up.

    Reply
    • September 21, 2016 at 12:26 pm
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      I totally agree- it is the fuzziness of the memories and not being 100% sure. There’s the iciness and feelings of disgust and shame too- they feel very real.

  • September 21, 2016 at 1:53 pm
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    Same here i had unanswered questions since i dont remember any actual abuse. Just seeing a relative naked and knowing i hate people breathing on me. Touching my face. Feeling disgust when i see older males with young children. When i called i told her there were things about my past im unsure of and instantly she said it did happen you were abused by a family member and there was another young woman involved. My older sister recently admitted she was molested by a family member but womt say who. I still wont say 100 percent it hapened to me but im more determined then ever to find answers. Yesterday a reocurring memory came back one i havent had for years but i know ive had it before. Im lying on a metal white single bed with a blanket over me and theres something todo with me touching myself but theres 2 other males k
    In the room. I dont know if its a weird dream but i just cant understand why there would be a made bed in a big garage and why i would be in there touching myself with other people there
    Like surely even if i was a sexual child i would go to my room for this. Just none of this makes sense.

    Reply
  • October 2, 2016 at 11:42 am
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    I feel like I was sexually abused. I doubt it because I can’t remember, but I’ve always felt like something happened….. I think it was my Dad, I feel guilty for saying it, because it might not be true. I remember that he used to sit me on his knee and stroke my arms. This made me uncomfortable. That is the only memory I have. I also used to feel a strange physical sensation when near him and I got this right into adulthood, when ever I was physically near him. I feel like this may have happened when I was very very young.

    Reply
  • October 8, 2016 at 1:27 am
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    The first time I thought I might have repressed memories I was 10 years old. I found a journal my teacher had us write in through most of first grade. Reading through this pretty much daily journal, I realized I couldn’t remember a single page. It seemed weird even then- I had a lot of very clear, narrative memories for all my childhood except for a blank year.

    I always had.fragmented images or sounds in my head connected to the abuse. I didn’t connect the dots until almost 20 years later. My cousin and I were having drinks at my parents house and we ended up comparing notes. She knew details I had never told anyone- that it happened at a young age (4-6). That it was a man on my mothers side of the family. That it happened at a certain time of day. I was having recurring nightmares. I kept seeing a bed in a room with a window. I didn’t recognize the room, but I woke up feeling like I couldn’t breathe. Then I started dreaming a man in the doorway. I couldn’t see his face, but his presence terrified me. Then I started to dream about my grandfather, he was raping me in a bathtub.

    I started asking questions to prove to myself I wasn’t crazy. My father told me they were false memories. My grandmother got super defensive and starting blaming other people in my family- what about your father? What about your mothers boyfriend? When that failed she told me my mother was on drugs. I stopped going over there and gradually stopped calling. She called me back in August demanding to know why I had cut them out of my life and what the facts were. Then she said that her and my grandfather had been questioned. I don’t know by who, but that voicemail finally proved to me that what I had were real memories.

    A lot of you have mentioned wondering if you were crazy or making it up. I don’t think we can make this shit up. For one, they are either very vague or very specific memories. Smells, sights, tastes, sounds fear and physical memory. Those are unique to the abuse and can’t be rationally put in context with any other situation or feeing. Vague memories or total loss of memory are more complicated. You may not consciously understand why you ‘think’ you are remembering. But you do and your mind tries to compensate. I had a flashback at a park, also around 10 years old. I don’t remember what instigated it. It may have been the time of day or a song I heard in passing on the radio. I couldn’t really place why it upset me. So I looked for something else to explain. There was a white van on the corner that I looked at when this was happening. I started to wonder if it was something about the van. You are not lying!! Your mind is simply trying to compensate so you can go on with your present life. And In so many of these situations we are taught to keep silence at all costs- often with threats of real or imagined harm. I’m gonna hurt you. I’m gonna kill your mom. If you tell anyone they’ll know it’s because your so bad. Sex is emotional and messy and confusing as an adult. How the hel can you Deal with this as a kid? I am 24 years old and still have trouble accepting this reality. I cannot process that it happened, much less that it went on as long as it did. And how could anyone not SEE this? But rape and incest victims are taught from a young age YOU CANNOT BE SEEN. And YOU CANNOT TALK ABOUT IT.

    You are not crazy. Trust your instinct. Don’t push yourself to remember. It doesn’t matter why you feel this nagging sense that something isn’t right. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense. It only matters that you feel it.

    Reply
  • October 12, 2016 at 9:13 pm
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    Hi,

    I am 18 years old and I’m only starting to suspect I might have been abused as a child. I have very vague memories only of a mustache and a basement. I think it is possible that I have created those memories. I have a very bad mental health and I want to know what cause it. My mother told me I might have been abused as a child. At first I thought it was a very strange thing to say, but then I felt like it just clicked, somehow.

    About a week ago, I started to have the weird flashbacks I mentioned earlier. I was talking to a guy I know and he started saying very sexual things to me, it wasn’t even flirting, it was only sexual jokes that involved me. All via text message. I had a panic attack and felt disgusted. I started crying. After that, I felt very violent thoward him. I had to put my cellphone down and breath. Then I started to have a flashback.

    When I was younger, I hated sex and everything sex-related. Some sexual acts made me have panic attacks. I found sex disgusting and shameful. It stopped after I started to use antidepressant.

    I am very confused and feel ashamed to talk about it with my psychologist. I don’t want to seem like an attention-seeker. Thanks for your help!

    Reply
  • October 13, 2016 at 5:14 pm
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    I honestly don’t know. Since I was quite young I’ve felt as though something bad happened. I felt unstable. Un safe. Lost. But for no reason. I do remember my childhood as being for the most part happy if unstable, but I have always had the sense that something is missing. Like if I follow certain trains of thought I hit into a brick wall and can’t carry on. I feel like my mind is contained in brick walls.

    I remember I started wetting the bed again when I was 6, I’d never given it much thought before because it was soon after we’d moved house and I’m autistic so change bothered me. Only I realised that it didn’t happen when we moved countries the year before or when we moved again the year after. At the same time I started having nightmares about being followed by a man whose face would change everytime I looked at him. I remember being afraid a lot of the time. I remember feeling like nothing was real, the world wasn’t real, one day I would just wake up and be two years old again. I remember it being the first time I was aware of feeling empty inside.

    As an adult, sex repulses me. But then I’m asexual, so that’s not unexpected. It feels dirty. The thing is, my family are open about sex. It’s never been a tabboo subject, I’ve never had the idea of sex being dirty pushed onto me. Yet that’s how I feel. I feel dirty for even thinking sexual thoughts. Dirty and almost sick.

    Last year I was in my first real relationship (I’m 23). On reflection, my partner was manipulative and pushy. I didn’t realise at the time. I lost all sense of myself and my self worth and felt like all I needed was to be with them and to make them happy. That I could ‘make this work’. They would touch me and I would feel uncomfortable, but freeze rather than say anything. When I did say I wasn’t comfortable, they would stop, but then push over the following days until I gave in. I hated having my vagina touched. I can’t even touch myself. It feels wrong. They tried to go down on me, I screamed for them to stop and they did. We had sex. I remember freezing and sinking almost out of my body just waiting for it to be over but unable to speak. We broke up not long after that. They felt guilty for using me.

    I have had friends confide their experiences of sexual abuse to me and everytime I have felt edgy and triggered and wanted to say ‘that happened to me too’ but had nothing to back it up. I don’t feel the same kind of triggered edgy feeling listening to people’s stories of other forms of abuse/bad experiences in life. I don’t know. A part of me is convinced something did happen. A part of me is convinced that I’m attention seeking and I just want a reason to explain my behaviours.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2016 at 3:52 pm
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    Thank you for writing this. I’ve recently discovered I was sexually abused as a young child I believe 4 years old I still don’t remember the actual abuse but more and more about my life is making sense and I’ve begun the healing process. I need to find resources and people to help me along this journey and would love to be able to talk more to someone who truly understands.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2016 at 5:45 pm
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    I have always had a feeling that I was molested as a very young child
    I began masturbating at an extremely young age, and have always been preoccupied with sex
    i had a very vivid dream that i was molested by a lady, i cant recall how old i was but it was definitely between the ages of 3-6.
    I have an extremely loving family, and i know for sure it’s not anyone in my immediate family..but I have a suspicion that it might been one of my uncles who ive always felt uneasy around but I’ve never been able to figure out why, or my babysitter who used to lock me in a closet, when my parents found out they fired her immediately.
    It’s driven me crazy growing up with such a loving family and always feeling like i turned out wrong with no explanation for my hyper sexuality.
    i’ve only had that dream once, so maybe it’s really just a dream, and i’m crazy as my uncle rarely visited..

    Reply
  • November 3, 2016 at 8:48 pm
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    Hi Everyone,

    I found this story to be incredibly moving, but it made me more confused about my experience.

    When I was twelve or thirteen (I can’t remember specifics), my father assaulted me. Like so many of you, I only just very recently considered this memory to be real. Here’s what happened: I was staying at my father’s house for the night. He had had a few beers, and then he went out to the bar. I used to believe that his house was haunted, so I decided to stay in his bed that night. I don’t remember when or how he came back, but I recall glimpses of him touching me and pressing himself against me. (This is very hard for me to write). I believe that this was an isolated incident, and I think that he was very drunk and perhaps thought I was someone else?

    There are a few things that make me question my memory: 1.) Though my father did and still does have an alcohol problem, he didn’t usually go out drinking when I was at his house. 2.) My memory is very fuzzy. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, what time of the year it was, or how I did not remember/acknowledge this until now. 3.) Very recently– today, in fact, my mom told my dad about this incident without my permission (I only told her yesterday. I had planned to meet with a therapist to work out some of my doubts). Anyway, my dad has absolutely no recollection of doing this, which I expected. He also denies that anything could have happened, that he never went out to the bar when I was there, etc. etc.

    Suffice it to say, I have a lot of doubts. However, this memory feels so REAL to me. It also explains a lot of my behaviors, and my feelings of mistrust, discomfort, and almost hostility towards my father that I have felt for so long. I have been reading a lot about repression, but it is only making me more confused.

    Does anyone have any advice on what to do? Should I admit that I have doubts about my memory?

    Thank you for listening,
    Emma

    Reply
  • November 13, 2016 at 3:51 pm
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    I’m going through this very thing right now. I am so extremely confused and just destroyed. I constantly shift between validating the memories that resurfaced in August…and completely doubting my sanity. I remember the progression of the sexual relationship I had with my father, but I also remember telling my mom and my grandmother, I remember the horror that ensued when they caught my dad red-handed. I remember being on the ground with my mom while my dad threatened to kill us all. My grandma stood up to him, but she was also the one who that night told me I needed to forget everything that had happened…I rmemeber the next day my mom pulling her hair, asking me to tell her what had happened, and feeling afraid. Not knowing what to say. I remember some time later my mom asking me, this time calmly, aren’t you ever going to tell me what happened. And I remember that by then I didn’t know anymore. I couldn’t remember anymore.

    I’ve had crazy depressive lows. They come out of nowhere. Two years ago I was home visiting for Easter when another intense manic-depressive episode came out of nowhere. That night I revealed to my mom that I remembered having very childish versions of “rape fantasies” and suicidal thoughts when I was so young, in elementary school before I should have known anything about that kind of stuff. I asked her in frustration why have I been so unhappy for as long as I can remember….she said very cautiously and in a peculiar tone of voice, “And you don’t remember weird or sexual or anything with your dad, or anything like that right?” I was shocked and immediately said eww no no no why do you even say that? And she extremely awkwardly changed the subject and wouldn’t talk about it…

    This is why now when everything came back I thought happily I CAN TELL HER! SHE KNOWS! But instead she denies it. She won’t hear anything about it. My father (who besides all of this has always been a HUGE ASSHOLE to her especially) is now a decent, good man and father. She strangely denies even that conversation we had two years ago. I am just so destroyed by this!!!! I feel like I’m losing my mind!! It’s like why did she choose him over me. Both then, everyday of my life, and still now. Why?

    Sorry to vent. Sometimes it’s just easier on the internet. If anyone at all has dealt with this anything like this and made it to the other side so to speak, I’d really like to hear from you.

    Reply
  • November 26, 2016 at 4:39 pm
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    Hi, I’m probably the oldest here, I’ve been to counseling a few times. The very first time, i did not go in for this reason. It’s been awhile I don’t recall every word, she happen to ask me something about what’s the youngest age of your childhood do you Remember? I believe I said none? Over time me she and I got my memory to 2 years old. In the sessions I told her that I have this reoccurring thought like a memory that comes to me? I told in my jr high I remember leaving my light, then I went to lye down in my bed, I did not put the covers over me. ‘I can feel the stubble on his face rubbing on my face right cheek, I also feel his body weight on me, I also feel something on my leg? I smell the the natural body scent.., of my dad?’ I open my eyes I left my head only look at my body I smell him very strong everything looks the same?! in those sessions I also know I have another one! That one my thoughts: I think I’ll just pass that one on and put that to the side (the back burner). NO BODY KNOWS THAT ONE.
    she known as the good one, everyone likes her even to this DAY! Oh she knows she’s not perfect like u and I. What I’m saying, where she lives it’s a Big cities their isn’t a place she goes without someone saying, HI Mrs. JANE DOW by kids and adults! I am not exaggerating! Just about everyday she is receiving a gift or a great complement! How wonderful she is with CHILDREN!!
    Me: say to myself “if they only knew the TRUTH! (Mine, yours and the truth). Question: I’m Going to a psychologist this time, do I bring that up? What do think? It’s been years..

    Reply
  • November 26, 2016 at 4:58 pm
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    Hi, I’m probably the oldest here, I’ve been to counseling a few times. The very first time, i did not go in for this reason. It’s been awhile I don’t recall every word, she happen to ask me something about what’s the youngest age of your childhood do you Remember? I believe I said none? Over time me she and I got my memory to 2 years old. In the sessions I told her that I have this reoccurring thought like a memory that comes to me? I told in my jr high I remember leaving my light on, then I went to lye down in my bed, I did not put the covers over me. ‘I can feel the stubble on his face rubbing on my face right cheek, I also feel his body weight on me, I also feel something on my leg? I smell the the natural body scent.., of my dad?’ I open my eyes, light on, I left my head only, look at my body, I smell him very strong, everything looks the same?! In the sessions I also know I have another one! That one, my thoughts: I think I’ll just pass that one and put that to the side (the back burner). NO BODY KNOWS THAT ONE.
    she known as the good one and I don’t want to ruin it, everyone likes her even to this DAY! Oh she knows she’s not perfect like u and I. What I’m saying, where she lives it’s a Big cities their isn’t a place she goes without someone saying, HI Mrs. JANE DOW by kids and adults! I am not exaggerating! Just about everyday she is receiving a gift or a great complement! How wonderful she is with CHILDREN!!
    Me: say to myself “if they only knew the TRUTH! (Mine, yours and the truth) I’m going to a psychologist do I bring that up since it’s been years? What do you think?

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  • November 30, 2016 at 4:17 pm
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    My mother, sister, and all my aunts were sexually molested and/or raped by my grandfather. (As far as I can recall he never touched me sexually) He was never convicted and was only kicked out of the family house a short while before threatening suicide and being allowed back in. I was warned about my grandfather at a young age and knew what he did, I steered clear. To the point: Although I have no recollection of this, my mother told me I accused my own father of sexual abuse. I don’t know if I accused him of this at a young age to somehow share some weird, sick bond with my mom….but, I do have a vivid memory of my dad forcing me to watch him pee in a men’s restroom. (I am a female). The thing is: i don’t know if this a dream recollection or an actual memory. I have had dreams (when I was a teenager, I’m 21 now) of my dad raping me, but as far as I know that’s all that they are, just dreams. Let me give you a little background on my father– my dad has no empathy, he’s narcisstic, and a womanizer. Despite this, I know he loves me in his own way. When I was young, he had graduated from an alcoholic, to prescription drug abuser, to full-blown heroin addict. I also have memories of him torturing our pets in the garage, all our pets died mysteriously when he lived with us. I have drunken promiscuous tendencies, that follow along with Bipolar Disorder (mostly depressive), PTSD from a non-incestuous or related rape, and anxiety…
    How can I distinguish if these “memories” are actual real life recollections that have happened to me or if they are just haunting dreams that have stuck with me since childhood. Thank you for reading this

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  • December 1, 2016 at 9:00 pm
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    I always had a suspicion I was abused but was afraid of not being believed and/or of being wrong as my memories are sensory. I doubted myself until I had an ultrasound for a medical procesure, and was touched in a way which triggered the memories. The tech didn’t touch me sexually, but somehow it triggered a memory.

    I am healing from this, and by accepting this truth it’s answered a lot of questions as to why i was sexually active at a young age.

    This flooding of emotions came at the wrong time, as i am fighting stage 4 lung cancer from 2nd hand smoke exposure. The person who violated me sexually also smoked around me as a child. This is a hard thing to love past. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  • December 6, 2016 at 7:06 am
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    I don’t know if I have been sexually abused- deep down I have the feeling that it happened, but I can’t remember anything and I’m extremely concerned about creating ‘ false memories’. My issue is that I have extreme reactions to anything to do with sexual and physical assault (hearing about it, going to support events, etc)- panic attacks, dissociation, nausea, anger to anyone around me, aversion to being touched… I rely on sex in my relationships to feel validated or needed, but men scare me. I’m very wary whenever I am around men.
    I had an odd encounter with a cousin when I was young- he’s a few years older than me-and I always thought it was just children experimenting. There was no penetration but something about him hasn’t sat right with me since. I don’t like visiting most of my extended family because I feel weird around male members.
    I’m terrified of creating false memories and I just don’t want to think something happened if it didn’t.

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  • December 11, 2016 at 10:25 am
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    I am from the ones wo have full memories of what happened back then to them. Maybe it has to do with the fact I still see my abusers bcz I don’t feel ready to stand 100% against them or that I am staying to the same very house which most of my abuse happened. every time I wall outside of my parents room I have flashbacks of my father abuse me as a small kid.
    if there is tho a thing I cannot remember is when I ws really raped for first time. There is a.memory but its like a blur ,foggy image without sound or feelings. Deep down I know there is something else more painful but all these years I cannot remember it.
    P.S :never understood the term “false memories “. For me every memory is.a.product if something which happen to past. No one can woke up one.morning and say he/she was abused out from the nowhere. I think at least.

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  • December 15, 2016 at 10:41 pm
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    Ever since I could remember, my grandpa had touched me in ways grandpas shouldn’t touch granddaughters. My earliest memory of abuse was when I was around four or five years old. My family and I were living in his house. My parents were working and he had picked me and my brother up from school. He made my brother sit in the living room while he molested me in his room. I’m not sure if this was the first time, as it didn’t feel new. (if that makes any sense?) I felt like it had been happening, I just couldn’t remember the other times.
    Throughout the next three years or so, it got more frequent. We had moved out of his house but we would still see him daily. On a good day (for me) it would only happen two or three times. On bad days, about six or seven. I was still a child, not able to understand what he was doing was wrong.
    He had stayed with me and my brothers while my parents went out of town once. I remember playing hide and seek. He would turn the light out and make my brothers hide while we counted. He would molest me with my brothers in the same room, without them knowing.
    It only got worse as I got older and my body developed. When I was nine or ten, he had a heart attack and moved in with us. What had once been considered bad days for me, soon became good ones. With him living with us, he was constantly in my room or I was in his. At this point, I knew it wasn’t right. I felt dirty and disgusting after, and would have to shower immediately.
    When I was twelve, two of my cousins moved in with us, and the abuse happened less frequently. I was happy about it until I thought he could be doing it to either of them. I almost wanted him to keep doing it to me, just so he wouldn’t touch them. (crazy?)
    On November 7, 2013, I told my mom what he was doing. She told my dad and they kicked him out. We went to our church the next day and I told our youth pastor, then we went to the police station. He was arrested in April the next year, and released about six months later. We went to court, but I was too scared to testify. We drew up a plea bargain and he pled guilty.
    I wish I had been strong enough to testify; to stand up for myself. He lives just five minutes from my house. I see him pretty much every time I leave my house.
    I’m sixteen now, and its been a little over three years. I’m starting to forget things, and what I do remember is starting to feel like dreams. I know that it happened, but there’s a tiny hint of doubt inside of me.

    I’m so sorry if this was in any way confusing; I just wanted to share my story. I feel lots better getting it off of my chest.

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  • December 22, 2016 at 9:10 am
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    First of all, thank you for writing this. I relate to this story so much, but it only makes me question my own sexual abuse.
    Though I’ve been in situations where I was touched by my friends when I was younger, I can remember these clearly, and thought it was normal. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with listening to my brother’s friends wanting to do things “in secret- [I] couldn’t tell anyone.” I’ve come to terms with this, and accepted that it happened.
    My hesitance comes along when I try to remember to what degree I was sexually abused. When I was 7, I was left alone with a teenager my mom was babysitting for a friend. He got too close to me, in a way I now realize is creepy and disgusting, and I vividly remember him telling me he “had to put this- in there,” pointing at both of our private parts. I was confused but went along with it. But after that.. My memories get hazy. I don’t know if he actually raped me or not. I remember feeling terrible about myself but not knowing why, and wishing I had never met him. It wasn’t until I was 10 that I even learned what sex was, let alone sexual assault.
    I’m 16 now, and I’ve still had nightmares about him touching and kissing me from that night. But I don’t know if the flashbacks of him actually entering me are just that- nightmares- or if they’re just more memories I’ve repressed. I can’t ever actually know what happened. I have had moments where I freak out if someone touches me, or having anxiety attacks after doing something mildly sexual with a guy.

    I’ve never reported it for that reason. When I’ve come out to some people I was close to, I always find myself second guessing if one of the most traumatic moments of my childhood really happened or not.

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  • December 23, 2016 at 4:16 am
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    Thank you so much for sharing your story and for this website, it has been so very helpful. This is the first time I share to the public as I feel it’s time to reach out in a group kinda way. For as long as I can remember I hated going to Omas house (Dads mum), I asked my mum about this and she confirms that us girls (I have 3 sisters) never liked going there and mum only used Oma as a last resort baby sitter, we would stay the night. The only memory I have of at Omas is being in bed going to sleep and smelling her funny smelling house. I’ve always been afraid of bed time up until I became a older teenager, I remember I would always hope I would fall asleep before every one else in my house cuz if I was the last one I would be absolutely terrified. My dad had a brother named Doug, I never ever liked him or his wife, I would always feel so uncomfortable around him and all my sisters felt the same. Once we were old enough we all stopped the obligation visits to Omas house and we never saw or spoke to Doug. My whole life I’ve felt like some thing terrible happened to me as a child and it happened at Omas house. From what I’ve found out from mum, Doug and his brother Trent had bedrooms there and would stay there. I seemed to have erased all memories of Doug, for eg I thought I had never seen him since I was little but then I found a photo of me at Omas house and Doug was there and I looked about 22,I’m 30 now, I have no recollection of this. Last year I had my first feeling memory, I felt like I was 4 and I was naked and I felt really scared, like some one was with me and it didn’t feel like mum or dad and it felt like this person was touching me. I had another memory which was triggered by me wearing normal undies for the first time in my adult life (have always worn gstring), I was in the car going to the beach, in passenger seat and suddenly I felt like a little girl and someone was rubbing the outside of my undies at the front, where my privates are, I instantly felt terrified and so upset and started to cry. Another time I was laying in bed with my legs spread like a wide v and suddenly it felt like something was forced inside of me. I started to notice that every time I came across a photo of Doug I’d feel sick in my stomach and can’t look at it. I started suspecting him. A few months ago by dad had his birthday and Doug was invited ( Dad doesn’t like Doug, not sure why, he can’t stand him) I noticed I was afraid and sick knowing Doug would be there, I wanted to go cuz I wanted to hang with dad, I feared that Doug would come to me for an obligation hug, I was terrified of this, I managed to avoid the hello part and hid inside the house in a bedroom with my sister or helped Nonna with cleaning etc, anything to keep me away from him. At one point my sister told me he was asking about me and where I was, I freaked out and told her to say she can’t find me. The whole time he was there I felt ill , heavy, anxious, terrified and extremely tired. I made sure I stayed hidden when he was leaving to avoid the goodbye hugs. Then as soon as he left I felt light, happy, stable and able to finally enjoy myself and hang with dad. My state completely flipped. To me this was the evidence I needed to know it was him. I’ve never had solid picture memories that place him there. And so I doubt myself all the time. This Christmas Doug texted dad asking if he could come to our Xmas lunch (which is just mum dad and us kids) he reluctantly said yes, mum called me to tell me and I felt sick and burst into tears and said if he goes then I’m not coming (I’ve told mum but not dad yet), she said both mum and dad would rather me there cuz I come first, I told her to tell Doug what I said (cuz she and dad are afraid of standing up to him, they didn’t even want him to come to Xmas but said yes cuz they didn’t know how to say no), I told her that I don’t care if he knows that I don’t wanna be around him, mum told dad this, dad was happy to back me up but now he wants to know what’s going on. I feel to tell him but my denial is now kicking in strong, what if I’m wrong? I’m so afraid of being wrong. I don’t want dad to tell any one, I just want him to know cuz I know that he knows something is up and I know it’ll be very healing for me and I don’t want Doug coming to any more family events etc (he never ever comes over or sees dad but since dad got cancer last year hes been trying to weasel in and dad don’t like it but doesn’t know how to tell him how he feels). So yeah, I’m at this point where I have serious doubts. But if I look back at my whole life and all my mental and physical struggles, being sexually abused fits and a big piece of evidence is that since working on the sexual abuse in the last year I’m finally seeing improvements in my well being and life (I’ve been to multiple psychologists for depression etc but no one has been able to help me until now, now that I’m working on this abuse), I have a long way to go as I’m still unable to work due to my mental state but I don’t think about killing myself any more and actually have this little spark for life and actually feel like I could be some one. I feel like I need a little help regarding my denial though as it’s kicked in very hard this last week….. Does any one agree that what I’ve said sounds like I could be that I’m right about this?

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  • December 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm
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    I used to go to school and come back home via a private bus when I was in first grade (I was around six years old). I used to be dropped home before another girl but once this girl was absent so I was the last one to be dropped home by the driver. Once when we were alone he removed his pants and asked me touch his dick. I remember telling him no and that my mom and dad will be angry. I remember being very scared and helpless. He told me that it was fine and another girl from my bus had played with his ‘thing’. I don’t remember anything after that. I’m not sure if I’m repressing my memories but I identify with alot of symptoms of sexual abuse. I’m not sure if I want to remember what happened it’s like I completely blocked it out, I really hope that he let me go home untouched after that. I also remember being attracted to my cousin brother at a very young age. He was two years older than me. He lived in a different country and whenever I visited him we used to play a game where we would hide under a a toy tent. I remember him kissing me but I think thats it. I have rape fantasies sometimes and I’m disgusted by it. I feel ashamed of being sexually aroused and I think I did get abused but I’m not sure. I’m also extremely nervous around men especially my uncles.

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  • January 16, 2017 at 6:12 pm
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    I think i was raped once and sexually abused many times as a child because I have some memory of it. I repressed the memories for years but now its strongly coming to me about what happened and why I am so cut off from everyone, I have suicide thoughts, I feel low energy, depressed, always crying, low self esteem, angry, no confidence, anxiety, . I am always having these flashbacks about what happened from time time to time. I got married at the age of 23. After some I gathered courage and tell my husband what happened. I told him but my husband did not say anything about it ever and we continued our life normally, I don’t understand why he did not say anything about it.
    I am a housewife as my choice because I can’t go out and do a job and talk to people normally, its difficult for me to do that and i do not have many friends. I am home alone all day do my house work and pass my time practice sketching, watching series or movies. My husband told me to start sketching and pursue my passion because i told him i use to sketch when i was a child. I started sketching but i had to force myself to do that., then he told me that I should try for a job it will give me confidence and also we can buy our own house because we have financial difficulties, then my husband asked me if i would like to work from home, for making my mother in law happy i tried to work from home but it failed .I told my husband that i can’t do it but still he insisted. As a child also with great difficulty i finished my schooling also could not finish my degree successfully. I am not happy at all and can’t make my husband happy. I always get into a fight with him because he is working all the time and also he thinks I am childish always complaining and crying because I have never went out and worked so I don’t know how people are, he said to me once that I have nobody accept him to talk and interact with so we fight a lot. I don’t think i can keep him happy and I should stay single for the rest of my life.

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  • February 1, 2017 at 8:41 am
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    I went to marriage counseling for the first time yesterday and I really enjoyed the session. Only now I have been preoccupied with a couple of answers I gave. The therapist asked my husband and I if we had been physically abused. I immediately felt flush like I was going to get in trouble. Next he asked us if we were ever sexually abused again my face probably gave away more information than the shake of my head. My husband turned and asked me again if I were ever physically abused and I couldn’t answer I could only shake my head no. The therapist who I really liked kept looking at me and then I started getting scared like I was being tricked and I started to think the therapist was sick. When I got home I immediately called my brother whom I believe is the one that got super abused. I asked him if he thinks we were physically abused and he said yes. But o couldn’t ask him about sexuall abuse. I asked my cousin because I know he was in a weird situation himself but he couldn’t text me very much because his wife doesn’t think it’s appropriate for us to be so close. But she allows him to talk to my brother, she is such a weirdo. All three of us are very close and are able to be our true selves around one another. But what I told him and he couldn’t respond at the time was. I remember some highly suspect sexual in nature encounters but I cannot remember the circumstance. For example I remember “this guy” I hate saying or I guess typing his name. He was my moms boyfriend for years. He would say “show me how you put your mouth around a door knob without it touching your teeth,” and I remember there being atleast another male there laughing but I cannot remember where my mom was or my 3 other siblings. I remember showing him I could stick my whole fist in my mouth and him shoving it further but I cannot remember how I felt or why I did it and where everyone else was or what happened before or after. So see how it’s sexual but not. I don’t know. Also this same person would tie me to a chair with really tight knots and out me in the closet I remember myself thinking it was sexual then but that was my thought he was doing it to help me practice to get away if I should ever be tied up and kidnapped. Again before and after and other people are no where to be found. I remember him sticking his fingers in my mouth like he was hooking a fish but can’t remember why and now it seems sexual but not. I don’t know. Lots of memories like that but I’m scared to say anything about it because I’m scared the therapist will make me talk about that guy and I don’t even like to hear his name. But I want my therapy to go well with my husband and I. I’ve been searching online to find out what to do with these incomplete memories but I am at a loss and confused. I wish I could be rid of the whole memory.

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  • February 7, 2017 at 3:31 pm
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    I am so glad that I found your site, I really need some insight and help. I am going to try to make this as short as possible. I am almost 41 years old with 4 children. I am married to my high school sweetheart. Since early adulthood I have had little memories of my paternal grandfather touching me inappropriately. Like when I would go to sit on his lap, he would first put his hands down my pants and touch my bottom. I didn’t think much of this until my older sister told me some memories she was having that were similar. I remember feeling uncomfortable when he did it, but it was just “normal” when I saw him. I spent a lot of time at thier home and remember staying over night and sometimes sleeping in the same bed with both grandparents. I have no other specific memories, however, as a teen ager I was hospitalized with anorexia twice. I was not a sexual teenager and though I had two long term boyfriends, I really tried to avoid sex. I would kiss and make out but never wanted sex really. I was a terribly depressed child and teen. As a little girl I remember feeling isolated and like I did not fit in. I also vividly recall knowing and being interested in sexual things when I was way too young to, early elementary school. I would masturbate often and want to act out sexual play with other kids. At the time I thought nothing of it, but realize now, how disturbing that was. I also remember having frequent vaginal infections as a little girl such as yeast infections. I remember my dad watching porn in front of me one time but that is all. He would also come home drunk some nights and get in the wrong bed with me or my sister but I don’t recall anything more happening. I can tell you that from early adulthood util about the time I began having children of my own I enjoyed sex with my now, husband. Any kind of sex. I did not feel uncomfortable and would even be the initiator. Then in my mid 20’s after having my first child, I remember that changing. I cannot pin point exactly when or why, but I began having a MAJOR aversion to oral sex being performed on me. I used to enjoy it, suddenly it made me feel extremely uncomfortable and when my husband would do it, I would be crying, especially if I had an orgasm. There are still times I will cry after I have an orgasm, even after normal sex. I hate being stared at during sex and I cannot and will not make eye contact with my husband during sex. I often find my mind drifting to anything else I can think of during sex, and wanting to escape during oral sex We rarely if ever have oral sex because of my aversion to it It does not bother me to perform it on my husband just to receive it. There are also certain sexual positions I hate and one of the major ones is laying on your sides with my husband behind me. It makes my skin crawl almost angry. I also began having this strange reaction to frustration and anger in my mid 20’s where when I get super frustrated or angry, I feel sexually aroused or feel like I need to have an orgasm even though emotionally I am not wanting sex at all. It was very strange to me but I am beginning to connect some dots. I feel with everything in me, that something happened to me I have felt this for nearly 20 years but have never been able to recollect any details but the ones I shared. I hate it. I just want to know. It has effected my sex life with my husband and leaves this open pit in your heart that needs to be filled with truth. I just need someone who has been there to tell me what they think. Thank you so much!

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    • February 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm
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      Hi

      Try talking to your husband about it may help you, it did for me. After telling him i feel my mind has cleared up. Earlier i use to cry and feel depressed thinking about it but now its like its gone.

  • February 14, 2017 at 9:42 pm
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    Pardon me, but are you still replying to people?

    I have DID from sexual abuse I repressed, and my Alters and dreams have mentioned that my brother let his friends sexually abuse me for money, but I can’t actually remember it so I feel like I’m lying.

    I know I’m not; my Alters don’t lie to me about this, and it’s more like little whispering in the back of my mind.

    I was always scared of his friends and when I was going through his yearbooks certain people who looked like his friends caused me to be really, really scared.

    I’m lucky he no longer lives with me, but my Dad doesn’t believe my brother hurt me and my Mom is on the fence about it.

    Do you think my dreams/nightmares are trying to tell me for sure what happened?

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  • February 17, 2017 at 7:15 pm
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    Reading through these makes me feel like I’m not crazy. I am older, in my 40s, and was first met with sporadic and hazy feelings, then a deluge of vivid memories of sexual abuse by my father ( through about age 5), knowledge thereof by my mother, and a host of related drama. I am now confronting the associated body memories. I went to therapy and I could deal with the “knowing”, but am finding “feeling” the old things much harder to cope with. Please tell me time and therapy will restore my personal life!

    Many of us have a common theme of being hyper-sexualized from a very young age and for me, I managed to survive teen pregnancy, rape, and make it to adulthood to find happiness and rewarding sex. I’m terrified now that my happiness and more-rewarding-than-average(??) sexlife are now lost forever. I didn’t ask for these memories and am honestly not sure how I am better off with them.

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  • February 17, 2017 at 11:18 pm
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    Hello
    Not sure if im posting this correctly. Ass i feel very overwhelmed with everyone story i feel almost out of place… but here it goes..most of my life i have remembered my uncle doing things to himself infront of me when i was smaller about 5-8 years..i remember where when how and time of day and how i felt (scared) i remember my close trying to be taken off of me and a nother family member but cant remember the face of who.. my uncle or his sons.i do remember begging my mother to never bring me back. As this is the part i feel badly for is i dont remember uf i ever was fully harmed or not.. my mother never sent me back as im very sure more would have come of it to me. I have never told anyone until now. But im unsure if ots real.. please help??

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  • March 2, 2017 at 10:26 am
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    i was in foster care till i was 16 i was molested by foster dad when i was 5 but its really hard to remember all the details some times. then when i was 6 or 7 one of my foster cousins started touching me then my foster family found out so they sent him away. and when i turned 13 my gurdians bilogical grandson started having his way with me and he said if i told i would get in trouble he was 17 at the time. im just wondering cause ,sometimes i wake up at night crying is that normal for what i went thru as a kid but now im 26 married with 1 daughter

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  • March 21, 2017 at 11:59 am
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    Hi, I am 30 years old and I strongly feel like I was sexually abused. Starting in my teenage years I remember being very uncomfortable around my mom. To this day I still don’t like being in a bathing suit around her or to close to her. I always felt like she was looking at me. However, I could never imagine that my mom would have abused me. I do have a lot of the signs/symptoms of abuse. I wet the bed until I was 9-10. I remember masterbating at a very young age. I remember being no older than 6-7 and would pretend to have sex with my cousin who was the same age. We would lay under the covers naked. We wouldn’t do anything but just lay there naked and talk. The other night I was looking at younger pictures of myself and I felt bad for the girl in the pictures. But I don’t know why. I had an awesome childhood. The only actual memories I have of what could be abuse is other boys in my kindergarten class. There was a group of boys (in kindergarten) that would harrass me. They would chase me on the playground, jump on my back and kiss me, plan who I was going to marry. Say once we get married I can see you naked. I know this bothered me enough that when I was at home I would get dressed in the dark because I thought they were outside watching me. My mom thought it was adorable how the one boy had a crush on me. I don’t know if that’s why I’m uncomfortable around my mom. Do I blame her for not protecting me? Is this kindergarten abuse even the sexual abuse I’m feeling or is there more that I’m not remembering? I’ve always been extremely uncomfortable around boys. I started dressing like a tom boy about age 11. The one boy in kindergarten that did the harrassing, his mom and my mom were best friends. I remember having sleepovers with this boy. I remember him showing me his penis then telling me it was my turn. I don’t remember if I pulled down my pants or not. I remember being uncomfortable and scared around him. I confronted him years later about how he would pull his pants down and then say it was my turn. He said “”lol, did we have sex too.” I was 5 at the time and he was 6 or 7. I never realized this was harassment or abuse until about 6 months ago. What I want to know and I’m driving myself crazy about is was this all that has happened to me or is there more? Was it just this group of boys or was there someone else? How do I remember?? I feel so strongly that I was abused but I feel like the kindergarten stuff I described isn’t enough to make me feel this way.

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  • April 17, 2017 at 10:34 pm
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    Hi. So, I’m just 14, But, I believe when I was five or six this person at my daycare who shall not be named, but we’ll call “Rick”, would sexually abuse me. Or maybe he didn’t? It’s all kinda blurry. But I used to have this dream where he was kinda laying on top of me just staring at me with his blue eyes and puffy lips and he was surrounded by white light but for some reason the dream always scared me. There are a couple parts I clearly remember though. He was about 14 or so, and every day we would have nap time. I always found it impossible to fall asleep as a child so I asked the Daycare person if I could join the big kids, as they didn’t have to partake in naptime, but still got cots to lie on. The daycare instructor would only watch over the little kids for naptime hour. I remember “Rick” would drag me off to some other room and the first time I felt so special. We would sit on the ground and the first day he said to me “Do you want kissing lessons?” And I was all giggly and I wanted to make him happy so I said Yes. So it was just basic peck on the lips for the next few days until one day he stuck his tongue in my mouth. I think I pulled back, and my most vivid memory of all is him saying to me “You have to do this or else you won’t be ready in the future when other people do it to you.” I was a little bit scared I think, but I still didn’t understand. But then, he pushed me down on the ground (which wasn’t very difficult since he was like, 6 times bigger than me. He would viciously make out with me until one day he put this white sheet over us while he was on top of me, and I can’t remember what happened next. I might have blocked it out but every once in a while I’ll get triggered by someone touching me and it’ll send me to thinking about someone fingering me and I get these vivid mental images of him smiling at me and saying “good job.” I’m so confused. I don’t even know if it happened. It could all be my imagination

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  • May 20, 2017 at 7:33 pm
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    I am still unsure if I have ever been sexually abused. I just keep recalling unsettling memories my dad use to do. I remember his kisses lasted too long and too passionate almost. I remeber getting to the point of not wanting to give him kisses. I remember him laying ontop of my sisters and I tickling us. And something about those memories destrub me. I have a huge problem being tickled now a days. I am struggling with many psychological issues like anxiety depresaion body dismorphic and binge eating. I can’t peace with myself and I feel there is something I’m surpressing that can reallt connect this all together. I cringe when family talks about me being a daddys girl and being so close. But i dont know if that has anything to do with some issue i have hidden or just bc I am far from close to him anymore.

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  • May 24, 2017 at 5:34 am
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    Hello
    Thank you for being brave and for daring to speak. I am 37 years old and i have always suspect that my dad did something to me. I think that now that I am an adult, and that I live away from home, I can recognize that it was probably true. All this years I have always doubt, I have always tought why would I think such a thinkg? I used to wonder if I was crazy. But as a kid, everytime that my dad touched me, I was always always feeling “asco” sick in my stomach, I was always extremly shy. My sisters have such a good realtionship with my dad, actually me too. But I always wonder if he remebers something, if he feels bad for what he did to me. The weard thing is that the first time that I had sex, I could tell that I was virgin. Is that possible? Or maybe the “molested” me but never did the whole thing. It doesnt really matter, my life was touched and ruined for whatever he did to me. It would be so nice to be able to travel in time and go and see if he really did that to me or not.
    I wish you and your daughter a happy life!
    Valeria

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  • June 9, 2017 at 1:33 am
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    This article has brought me to tears. I am 17 years old, and for the longest time I thought my childhood was perfect. I never questioned anything and really didn’t think about my life until I reached middle school; it was like I was asleep and on auto pilot until I suddenly woke up. I spiraled into a deep depression and anxiety and the most frustrating part was I didn’t know why. Around age 16/17 I started feeling like something happened to me. I started having nightmares where I would feel violated and unable to breathe. I would have sleep paralysis experiences that I came out of feeling like I had been raped or used sexually. Soon after that the memories started coming back slowly… I remembered my dad kissing me once on the mouth when I was 12, and that wasn’t something he did regularly. I also remembered being taken into a closet by another little girl around my age of 5 years old at the time. She Did something inappropriate to herself in front of me. After that day, I remember doing the same to myself every now and then. I also started touching myself in others ways extremely frequently, like every day, multiple times a day. Other memories came up and I doubted them for so long, but when I looked at the different behaviors and my sexual needs/oddities now as nearly an adult woman, it all started to make sense why I was always angry as a kid and started self harming around age 5 or 6. I still don’t wanna believe it happened, but I am really glad I found this community, and your story inspires me to find a way to heal from the very real abuse I went through. Thank you so much for this.

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  • June 13, 2017 at 10:27 am
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    I’m a victim too. It was my brother (11 years older than me) who abused me. I remember those horrible memories from when I was only 3 years old all the way till I was 15- 16 and I showed him a kitchen knife and told him will kill him if he touches me again. He forced me to please him until he reaches orgasm in my hand or wherever he wants and then he would order me to go and wash your self and shut up about it, will see you next time!
    Now after 17 years i confronted him and he said I’m crazy and sick and need to be hospitalized. He said I’m looking for money and I should be ashamed. I hope he dies in a horrible way.
    I usually catch myself making up scenarios about his death, a car accident in the middle of nowhere which makes him suffer for days before he dies or a type of cancer that gives him only a couple of months of suffering before he dies or brain stroke that leaves him parallelized! Maybe my pain dies with him.

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  • August 12, 2017 at 8:48 am
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    Reading all the comments on this subject although most of them not very pleasant, or positive, remind me of events in my own life that can only be described as sexual abuse. I have never had negative feelings about them which is strange.

    I have vivid memories from when I was a toddler about 2 years old.
    My grandmother used to babysit a 10 year old neighbor boy named Charlie a couple of times a week as well as myself.
    Charlie seemed to have a “thing” for my messy diapers. I remember him, especially at naptime, squeezing and fondling my diapers, pushing and smearing the mess all over my bottom, in my crotch, and all over my genitals.
    I remember him with his hand down his pants rubbing himself as he fondled me. This was a regular thing for him to do with me until I was potty trained. Ironically, I liked the way it felt, and didn’t mind him fondling me. I would actually tell him I had pooped so he could fondle my diapers. I strongly believe these events or memories, were the catalyst for my diaper fetish which as far as I can remember started around the age of 5.

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  • August 14, 2017 at 8:31 pm
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    Bits and pieces of my sexual abuse memories are slowly coming back to me years later. It’s been tough because I previously had my suspicions, but doubted they were true. I have a very vivid memory of someone ripping the covers of of me when I was little, maybe five years old. I was trying to hide. I have recurring nightmares about it, some shadow person ripping the covers off, and either holding me down or laying on top of me. Then my mother gave me a piece of information that really opened my eyes. There was a girl I used to play with around that age who tried to get me to do sexual things with her. Years later my mom told me that when she talked to the girl’s mom all those years ago, it was revealed that she taught her daughter to touch herself until she fell asleep… I think she might have done it to preoccupy her daughter so that she didn’t have to be bothered with taking care of her or have her up all hours of the night… I remember I used to do the same thing, I would do that to make myself go to sleep at night because I had issues sleeping, and sometimes multiple times a day because my little sister and I were left home alone constantly at ages 4 and 5. I wonder if maybe my mother ever left us there alone with that woman, perhaps allowing her to babysit? I wonder if that woman taught me the same thing she taught her daughter because I told her I couldn’t sleep… If she didn’t have time to tend to her own kid, she certainly didn’t have time for me, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she taught me… And I have later memories of just sort of knowing how to touch myself. I don’t remember exploring or being curious; I just already knew what to do, and I did it compulsively. It angers me that I may never know the truth. And at the same time that I deny my own right to feeling abused, I feel so sorry for the little girl who tried to touch me, because I know somebody, maybe even multiple people, were abusing her. I hope she’s OK today, and that she grew into a beautiful person who was able to heal from the injustice committed against her.

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  • August 19, 2017 at 7:01 pm
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    Thank you so much for writing this. I just this week realized and accepted that my dad sexually abused me when I was a toddler. Other memories have been surfacing and I am staying at my inlaws because we live with my parents. He may have molested my daughter, she won’t tell me what “the bathroom game” with grandpa was because it’s too embarrassing. She’s staying with me and my husband is trying to find us a new home. I keep doubting myself and my memories. Dad also physically abused me until I was 18. The thing you said that really helped me was how you said that the emotional abuse was the worst of all. That is something that I hope to understand some day. I abused my own kids, physically and emotionally but once I realized that I’ve been lying to myself my whole life it was like a switch turned in my brain. Now I can talk to my kids about feelings and abuse. Today my 9yo told me that he can tell that I’m already getting better by how I talk to him.

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  • October 24, 2017 at 4:07 pm
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    I have recently had memories of my grandfather having me preform oral sex around the age of 5-7 resurface now that i am 22 and I honestly do not know what to do with these memories or thoughts… but they feel so real and to even think my grandpa would do something like this is sick.. but the memory is so there in the front of my mind that i know its real what happened and I have no idea who to ask if anything happened all those years ago because i don’t want to cause problems especially because he is passed away and I have 10 siblings and a grandmother who was living with my grandpa and someone would have seen something? or i would have said something? I just don’t know who to ask or if i can even ask if this memory is or was true? i just remember what happened so vividly now. Im sitting in his arm chair with him and he unzips his zipper and tells me to suck on it and to keep going and? I just want to be able to ask someone who may or maynot have known so i can at least know that someone knew and did something? i remember a smell but i cant describe it anymore, i remember through a foggy memory what it looked like. I just wish my parents knew and are just waiting for my memory to come back and ask so they can tell me… but im afraid to ask and loose the good memory i have of my grandpa……

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  • November 7, 2017 at 12:50 am
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    I think at some point in my childhood I was sexually Abused. My most recent vivid dream was me in my fathers bed as a child and him showing me his private parts . The truth is I did sleep w my dad till about 14 years old which I always found odd. My father is a wonderful man and for me to have these thoughts and dreams about him is devastating. I also have always gotten a strange uncomfortable feeling around him all my life that I can’t shake off. The worst part of the dream was that my oldest brother knew about my dad sexually abusing me. I don’t know if this dream has any truth to it but it was devastating to me and I woke up frightened and afraid. I love my dad so for me to have these thoughts are so scary. I have always thought in my heart that I had abused sexually but this was the first clear dream I’ve had of my father doing other. Is there any truth to this? I’m terrified

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  • November 12, 2017 at 12:56 am
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    In my tenties I remembered a dream I thought I had. But from all the details I remembered, I suddenly couldn’t decide whether it was a dream or something that had happened. The “dream” goes like this:

    I was about 4-5 and we were at our babysitter’s house. It was a man and a woman, their house wasn’t too far from ours. They were married with two girls. On this particular day I remember being told I had a cold and had to stay home from school. While Maryann took my brother and the rest of the kids to school, Mike stayed at the house. I was told to go up to the loft area where they had a couch and tv and sat watching cartoons. I remember the positioning of the couch and tv. I remember sitting on the couch and my feet not touching the floor. I’m not sure how much time had passed since Maryann left when Mike came down the hall towards me in just a towel, a white towel. He told me to lay down on the couch. I laid belly down toward the window with the tv to my left. I remember looking at the pattern of the couch. I vaguely remember the color and texture of the couch but for some reason this is relevant to me. Then Mike laid down on top of me. I remember the pressure of his body on top of me and the thought of his chest getting me wet from his shower. Then that’s all I remember. I have no idea what he did after that. The only other memories I have from around then are that one day Mike sat me down near the fireplace to tell me how inappropriate my short skirt was. My parents do remember Mike mentioning this to them but they have no recollection of me telling them about this particular situation. My mom still thinks it never happened and that I’m crazy for even mentioning it to friends, my hair stylist, and she was livid when I joined in on the Facebook “Me, too.” movement.

    As far as how this effects me I am unsure. I don’t like to have sex, low libido, and I wonder if something did happen when I was little to make me this way. I do, however, have thyroid disease and take Prozac so it’s possible those are working against me. I also do not like being touched sometimes or a lot of the time. My fiancé rarely touches me now. I also have the same feeling when my daughter touches me. I don’t like to be touched on the face and I don’t like my arms touched. I could go on and on but perhaps it would be better to talk to a therapist. I’m just not sure I’m ready to find out whether I was sexually abused or molested as a child and afraid to remember more of what happened that day, if in fact it wasn’t a dream.

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  • January 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm
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    Oh my goodness. This helped me so much, they are the same conclusions I also came to. Thank you for writing this as it helps me to connect and know that I am not alone. I have always felt alone for a long time. Although I often do, I guess every little bit helps…

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  • March 6, 2018 at 4:33 pm
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    Thank you for this post, it and others are really helping me try and come to terms with certain things from my childhood. I’m currently 17 years old writing this now. I have always had a feeling that I was abused sexually, not necessarily penetrated but what I thought was a normal relationship between my grandfather and I now as you said does not seem so normal. I only have one memory but I am sure there are other situations I cannot remember. The memory I have is of being around 10 or 11 years old. I was just starting puberty, my boobs were growing and I think I may have just gotten my first training bra. I was sitting on my grandfathers lap and he was stroking my chest, my nipple in particular. That is the only memory that I have, even then it felt strange and it feels even stranger now. The reason I am writing this today is because of something that happened a few hours ago. It is the reason I believe I have repressed other memories. Earlier today: I just came out of the bath, i was not dressed and had a towel on (this is normal in my home, but I am in my grandparents now) my grandmother had gone out and wouldn’t be back for hours. When I went into my bedroom to change, I saw a figure at the glass door (it’s not completely transparent glass so I could only see an outline). As I walked to the door, it scurried away. It was my grandfather. I thought it was just a coincidence so I went back in to get changed. This time I saw his eye peering into the glass window. It was exactly as you described your fathers: vacant but terrifying. I didn’t know what to do so I waved. His emotion did not change and he did not budge from the door, even after I had seen him. I went to open the door and again he scurried away. I said “are you okay?” And he just said “yeah” very casually and normally, as if nothing had happened. I then took my clothes into the bathroom and locked the door tightly. My whole body was shaking. I was terrified, and I still am. All I can see are his eyes. I wanted to get in my car and drive to my home but then people would have had questions and I did and do not want to talk about it, to me it isn’t deeply shaming and something that’s is my fault. This is why I know it must have happened before.
    I spent the last few hours reading online about repressed sexual abuse memories and symptoms and I came across your blog. The listed symptoms took me back to a relationship I had last year. It was very short. He treated me terribly, but I could not leave him. I felt though he was way out of my league and far better than me. The smallest thing he did good I would praise him from the rooftops for. Tell all my friends and Be so appreciateive, it was not a 2 sided relationship. I would consider myself to have trust issues. Possibly unrelated, my dad often hit me and my brother as children and now I’m wondering if he was abuse do by my grandfather (his father) too, though this seems far fetched in my mind.
    However like other symptoms I’ve read about I often have recurring nightmares. I remember nightmares from my childhood and I feel as though I’m not like other people, that I am different and that they would nevertheless understand me fully, not even my mum who I am close with. Also, related to the first incident with the breast-nipple touching, I now cannot get aroused through the touching of my breasts and it isn’t like my nipples are sexually numb. This all seems too coincidental to not be related. Also when other people touch me in certain places for example my waist, my thighs etc I get extremely jumpy, aggressive and upset.

    I honestly do not know what to think of all of this, thank you for reading it’s and writing this blog it has really opened doors .

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  • March 16, 2018 at 7:51 am
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    So I am now 24 years old in for some reason after going through therapy I starting to have flashbacks of my early childhood when my mom mentioned about my older niece Joya being molested by her father years ago.
    To be honest I don’t know if I was molested as a kid but my mom did tell me I cried all the time when she picked me up from my sisters house. And I did remember having my hair pulled by my sisters ex boyfriend and tell me to shut up whenever I make noise. ( I have developmental delays so I couldn’t form sentences till I was seven)
    Back into mid 2000 when my niece is being investigated she explained about how she got molested the one that hit me the most is when she mentioned she was being held down had her pants down and she said something wet and cold was on her bottom or in her bottom .. and I found out that’s why I had a nightmare about in my mind. When the investigators asked me questions I remember I was never been touched by anybody but I did had dreams about it and I didn’t mentioned the investigators about my dream because they asked about the real thing.
    But now that I think about it as an adult I believe I was in the same position as my niece…. except I was five…. or six…. I did remember wearing the same clothes every day when I was in kindergarten and the teacher report to my mom that my sister and her ex-boyfriend and take care of me because they got four other children to take care of … and then recently I went to my therapist to tell him about my childhood of how I got kicked out of kindergarten he says maybe getting kicked out for wearing the same clothes is not the reason… So I asked my mom and she explained about my niece being molested in how my sister was being nubbin so is my niece and my nephew in that’s when I start to have flashbacks about that same moment being sat on….
    Having my pants down…. while a pillow in my face…I remember where it takes place to it was at that one apartment before the youngest niece Reyna was born.. And she came, I wasn’t molested… it only happened once… something to tell me that it’s all in your head it’s just a nightmare… I don’t know why I suddenly remember or dreaming about this….. Because I had a nightmare last night involving my sister gettin beaten up and niece to… maybe that’s why I was separated from them pretended that they’re not my family ….. maybe me involving with them causes my childhood to be removed and it’s when I started to regress…..
    I started watching Rugrats are other cartoons my mind was happy because I never see them being abused so I started to act like a baby at the age of seven .. it’s my coping skill and that’s how I became a little… I thought it’s just my fetish but it turns out it’s how I cope things whenever something bad happened to me in the real world. I was mostly in my room playing with toys playing video games and just pretend to be in the show or something. I guess I that’s how I forgot about my trauma… But now I’m not a child anymore and suddenly my Dark thoughts…coming back to me….
    oh my God I need to be a kid again …… this can’t be true I said in my sleep…… What should I do should I tell mom I was molested?…… but she’ll say why didn’t you tell me a long time ago… I didn’t because I had no memory of it maybe it’s all my head because I have a well imagination I don’t know….. very scared right now…… wish I know the truth….. because nobody tells me about what happened to me as a five-year-old kid being listed because I was completely alone with someone …. just me and him ……

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  • July 10, 2018 at 8:13 am
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    I’ve been having constant feelings lately that I was abused by my father. I do recall a specific incident where my neighbor came by because she caught her son and my sister outside with their pants down. I was asked if I was involved at all because I believe the neighbors son said they learned the behavior from me. They were 4 or 5 and I was 8 or 9. I lied and said I didnt know what they were talking about. I remember being fascinated with the neighbor being different when he peed outside, so I’d ask him to do it and I’d watch. Im not sure if any touching occurred, but there was not actions occurring to make him aroused (i honestly did not know what that meant). I feel horrible about it (its constantly in the back of my mind, because part of me feels that because I was older, im a molester) but also feel like that’s not really something an 8 or 9 year old would come up with on their own. My parents never discussed differences of males and females with me. This was all way before the internet was really a thing, so exposure that way is not an option. I feel like it had to stem from somewhere.

    My father did/does watch a lot of pornography. I was exposed to that probably around or after age 10, particularly I remember finding fetish pee porn on the family computer. My mother hates it. I was also a “daddy’s girl” until about 10 or so. Now, I cant stand to be around him. I hate giving him a hug (i only give him brief side hugs because I want as little of me to touch him as possible) when I visit and really dont like to be in the same room with him. I just feel disgusted by him. The older I get, the less I want to interact with him, specifically.

    I wish I knew where all of this came from. Its really holding me back in my adult years now.

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  • August 27, 2018 at 7:44 am
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    I am 24 now and my sexual abuse started when i was 13 and in 7th grade.I was never baptized as a baby so my parents,Aunt Lydia and grandparents on moms side decided to have me baptized at Easter vigil on Easter sunday.That sunday morning i was taken to the parish bridal dressing room and mom,lydia and granma dressed me in the traditional,white,poofy,top of the knees,short sleeve baptism dress with the matching bonnet,lace socks and white mary jane shoes.They put the traditional white cloth baptismal diaper and rubberpants on me under the dress with the white tee shirt as my top.That afternoon during my party,i was Talking to my Uncle Dan,who was in his 50s and he told me how cute i looked and i was flattered! Later on,after my party had pretty much wound down,Dan got me alone and started kissing me and then put his hand under my baptism dress and felt my diaper and rubberpants and got very aroused! I was scared and didnt know what to think.He was holding me with one arm and undid his pants with his other hand and dropped them.He pushed me to my knees and told me it was my duty as a girl to sexually satisfy him and somehow i believed him.He thrust his penis into my mouth and held my head in both hands and thrust it back and forth,all the while,gagging.All of a sudden,he stopped,and came in my mouth and i coughed and gagged more and he forced me to swallow his sperm! He told me it was ‘our secret’ and that i did a good job satisfying him! During the next year i had pangs of guilt and felt like i had violated gods will. That next may,i was 14 and my First Holy Communion was comming up.My parents got me the communion dress and veil and i had to wear my baptism lace socks and white shoes with it.Per the dress code,all of us girls that were baptized at Easter vigil the year before had to wear our baptism cloth diaper and rubberpants and tee shirt under our communion dresses. Uncle Dan couldnt come to my party so i was glad of that.My 17 year old cousin Chad was talking to me and somehow he found out that i had my baptism diaper and rubberpants on under my dress and he got me alone and like uncle dan,put his hand under my dress and rubbed it over my crotch and my butt! He tried to push me to my knees,but i refused and he held me and ran his hand down inside my diaper and rubberpants and was trying to finger me.I got away from him and went to my room and closed my door. That is my two instances of sexual abuse!

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  • September 24, 2018 at 10:24 am
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    Thank you for writing this! This is the validation I have needed to believe that my newly-surfacing memory of abuse is real. I have very little tangible memory of the original abuse, but much memory of recurring victimization throughout my childhood and adult life. The knowledge of the original abuse came up in a very powerful meditation during which I was made aware of the perpetrator and my age at the time. Much of what you have written has resonated with my experience and helped me to have hope that I can heal even without the vivid memory. I have been actively working on my history of emotional and psychological abuse, and once a lot of that fog cleared it seems this was able to come to the surface but it is all still very fuzzy. Thank you so much for sharing your story, experiences, and hope with the many suffering fear and confusion.

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  • October 9, 2018 at 7:08 pm
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    i have been researching on and off. been trying to remember. who molested me? was it real or dreamed? did i mix it up?
    the person who could have molested me still kind of hurts me now…. it breaks my heart. i dont want it to be him .

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