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To have doubts about my innocent childhood (*potentially triggering for abuse survivors*)

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Jaffacakemoon Sun 09-Aug-20 00:24:45


-Just to warn you this post contains a description of some intrusive thoughts I had when I was a child that are violent/disturbing

I’m in therapy at the moment for work related anxiety. I’ve had an extremely happy childhood and life so far, no trauma, but I have an issue with perfectionism in work that led me to seek therapy.

Anyway, in talks with my therapist I mentioned I am not interested in sex, in fact I find the idea offputting.

Anyway my therapist asked me if I have ever had any sexual feelings, and I said not really. But since our session I’ve kept thinking further and further back and I have remembered two things from my childhood that seem a bit “off”? Or maybe I am just reading too much into this because of the therapist showing an interest? Does the following ring alarm bells for you, or might it be normal exploration:

- Aged about 7-8 ish (I think), I had a Barbie doll, and I remember taking her clothes off spreading her limbs and colouring her breasts and lady bits all in red felt tip, representing blood. I did this for a bit of a kick to ‘be naughty’ but knew I wasn’t supposed to be doing things like that and quickly washed it all off.

- same sort of age I used to have a sort of intrusive thought at night when I went to bed. I used to imagine a lady in her underwear being impaled on a flagpole (through the stomach) with lots of men watching and dancing around her. Again, I knew it was not a good thought to be having, but I just kept thinking it night after night.

There is nothing else, but the violence is quite disturbing? I have no idea what would have put such horrible images into my mind? I do remember feeling ashamed about both these, which is probably why I still remember them. Could it have just been an innocent sort of boundary pushing with ‘naughty / shocking thoughts’ ... or maybe I had seen something that I shouldn’t have? I suppose I’m wondering if I might have accidentally seen some porn or something that’s made sex into a bad thing in my subconscious mind?

Am I reading too much into this? Would you be concerned if you knew a child was thinking these things? AIBU?

OP’s posts: |
1Morewineplease Sun 09-Aug-20 00:48:52

Young people often have obscure, worrying, bizarre thoughts.
That you have recently dug these thoughts up , suggests some unresolved issues that should be discussed with a therapist, who will be able to help you untangle your memories.

Bloodybridget Sun 09-Aug-20 00:58:02

When I was quite young, not sure how old, I coloured my doll's genital area (which was of course just smooth plastic with a crease) with my mother's lipstick. I also had masochistic fantasies from a young age. I'm absolutely certain I was never sexually abused, but I did have an unpredictable father whom I was scared of.

mosquitofeast Sun 09-Aug-20 01:07:20

Maybe you are just asexual OP

DaisyDreaming Sun 09-Aug-20 01:20:51

Colouring in Barbie doesn’t sound like a red flag for abuse if that’s a stand alone reason you are wondering.

Do you think you might of witnessed the woman being stabbed on a pole? Kids do overhear all sorts of adults talking, things on the news or just come up with horrible intrusive images.

Is there more that makes you think you’ve shut out abuse?

Have you research A sexuality, there’s a whole scale of it and now lots of terms like A romantic (Correct me if I’m wrong but it’s when they like or feel romance but don’t want sex), grey ace and all sorts. Of course some people who are A sexual have also been abused and others havent.

None of us can say what you have been through but it doesn’t sound that worrying but we aren’t the ones with the feelings you are having

WhatWouldYouDoWhatWouldJesusDo Sun 09-Aug-20 01:22:56

For years I carried a very, vivid memory of a cat being turned out to be the film ' cats eye' but for a long time I was convinced I'd done it as the thought must have come from somewhere.

I think I must have seen it at a young age, my older siblings were teenagers when I was born so it's not impossible. Again this vivid scene was something I've had nightmares of from toddler age and it was by complete chance I ended up watching that film as an adult and made the link.

I think there's a chance something similar has happened to you.

TehBewilderness Sun 09-Aug-20 01:27:53

It sounds like you saw something when your parents thought you were asleep that leaked into your dreams.
Keep at it with your counselor and you may be able to sort it out.

thefoungain Sun 09-Aug-20 01:57:02

So weird, I remember having that EXACT same image in my head at around the same age. Actually got chills when I read your post.

Are you in your late twenties?

I'm honestly wondering if it was maybe a film that was on TV and it's been subconsciously 'taken in'.

That said, I also remember having some pretty masochistic thoughts as a young child / early teen. Never really understood it. I had no father and only male relative was a much younger brother, so I definitely wasn't abused (obviously you can never be 100% but I can't think of any time anyone would have had the opportunity). I also can't pinpoint exactly where I would have got any of those thoughts from, but I remember them vividly.

CrazyToast Sun 09-Aug-20 01:57:25

When I was around 10, I cut off all my Barbies hair, coloured her in blue, cut off her hands and feet, tied a rock to her with a string and dropped her down a street drain to drown. I felt bad about doing that at the time and it does seem a disturbing thing, but it was not indicative of any problem. I am a normal person, no issues or anything. It was just a flash of creative cruelty that kids sometimes have.

CrazyToast Sun 09-Aug-20 01:59:06

Oh and I used to get what I can only describe as a pre-sexual, cruelty-driven kick from imagining that, at the swimming pool, I would go underwater and grab babies and toddlers fat little legs and pull them under. I mean, what the hell! So I wouldn't neccesarily read into those thoughts unless it is something you do want to explore more.

Ginkypig Sun 09-Aug-20 02:16:10

I was going to say the flagpole image could be related to a film.

The next paragraph contains graphic imagery

There was a film called cannibal holocaust (there was a more recent version as it was remade recently too) which was a graphically violent horror film, the cover was a woman impailed on a large wooden pole with the end coming out the mouth. in that scene of the film if I remember correctly tribe men danced around her and the other people on the poles so not exactly the same but you may have seen it or something similar on the shelf at blockbusters in the horror section without realising it.
Or you saw a bit of a film when you weren't meant to late one night.

To be honest it's completely normal that the brain comes up with the oddest random stuff not just about sexual stuff but everyday weird things.
men and women also have very weird sexual thoughts sometimes of things that in real life would be the worst turn offs or would disgust them!
I would firstly throw away any shame attached to your thoughts because it's unhealthy and unhelpful then I would evaluate if they distress you or are invasive and consider talking to your therapist possibly.

LilyMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 09-Aug-20 12:16:35

Hi all

We've discussed with the OP and we're going to move this thread over to our mental health topic now. flowers

Bumpsadaisie Sun 09-Aug-20 20:21:16

When I was a young girl (say primary school age) I used to play a fantasy in my mind of a 1950s school where boys were being caned. I used to dwell on every whack and the pain on the boys face blush

I also had a play mobil pirate ship and I would tie Sindy to the main mast naked and the pirates would flog her with a string whip that I fashioned for them.


bumpertobumper Sun 09-Aug-20 20:30:27

OP , those thoughts and actions you describe are not abnormal for a child to have. As others have said, the woman in the pole must have come from somewhere.
That you have held onto these instances suggests that you have a lot of shame around them. I would suggest exploring any feelings of shame you may have with your therapist. This too could be connected with the perfectionism.
I wonder what messages you received growing up about bodies and anything that isn't 'proper'.

Jaffacakemoon Mon 10-Aug-20 01:16:50

Thanks to everyone that has replied. It’s a strange comfort to know that I wasn’t the only child having macarbre thoughts.
I do think I have issues around control, which probably does impact sex & intimacy (as well as growing up in a very repressed home- sex was NEVER mentioned and periods were ‘the P word’) but people here have been quite calm about these memories (thank you) and it seems unlikely that it’s down to anything overly sinister in my early years.
Thanks to those who think I may have seen a gruesome film, it’s a good possible explanation. Makes you wonder what kids might be exposed to these days, doesn’t it.

OP’s posts: |
Bumpsadaisie Mon 10-Aug-20 13:38:07

Well, we are human. Excitement about hatred, dirty sex, violence, sadism, masochism, cruelty, is all part of how we all are, just as much as love, altruism, compassion are.

The irony is, the more you are able to know about and own that side of yourself, the healthier and more integrated you are.

To know about it doesn't mean you are actually going to DO it!

Dinosauratemydaffodils Mon 10-Aug-20 13:58:37

I also had a play mobil pirate ship and I would tie Sindy to the main mast naked and the pirates would flog her with a string whip that I fashioned for them.

I found an old school book recently, the amount of flogging in my "creative" writing was rather disturbing. I was at primary school, maybe 7 or 8 and I really really liked writing about pirates.

Bumpsadaisie Mon 10-Aug-20 14:48:41


Glad I'm not the only one ...🤣

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