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I don't know if I was sexually abused by my dad or not (Long, sorry)(8 Posts)
I have always had an uneasy feeling towards my dad, and in the last few years it has developed, although I can't put my finger on anything in particular.
A few years back, my sister said that she had had a feeling our dad had done something to us before our parents divorced. I had never mentioned anything to anybody, so was flummoxed as I had been having the same feeling for a few years. I mentioned this to my therapist (who was a trainee) and she blanched then told me this was classic of abuse victims; that they repress these feelings until later in life and then the fortress comes down. Incidentally, I had been seeing her as I had been suffering from eating disorders for the previous 10 years.
I mentioned this to my sister, and my entire family pretty much turned on me- telling me I was making stuff up and trying to shit stir. No one, incidentally, likes our dad and no-one is in regular contact. At the same time, no-one wanted to think of him like that. So I retracted my thoughts.
Recently, I've started questioning myself about it. Over the last year I've developed a very real fear of being restrained and it comes out in my sex life with my DP, even when he is trying to kiss me and is above me etc. Yesterday he tried to kiss me by coming at me from above, but I completely freaked out and started hyperventilating and shaking etc. Then last night I had a sex dream about my dad, in which he wanted to have sex with me whilst I straddled him, but I wanted to get off him. I know for a fact that I used to sit straddling him, but I don't remember any sexual abuse. It's the fact I don't remember anything directly that makes me so confused.
I was reading a story in a trashy magazine about an hour ago. It was about a father raping his daughter. When my DP came into the bathroom, I pretty much fell apart; sobbing on the floor whilst he tried to console me. I know it's too much for him to deal with, and he doesn't know how to cope, but I don't either.
Basically (she says, after a mammoth post), I don't even know if I was sexually abused. My mind tends to be very good at making up shit that will hurt me during my dreams, so I don't know if I've just latched onto something I can direct all my angst at, or if something has happened to me in my past. I have no direct memories of anything; just a sense of unease.
I spoke to a counsellor for a year, whose attitude was 'it's in the past, so why worry?' (a bit Rafiki, really) and I don't know if he was right or not. I have no facts, no evidence and no memories. Just ill ease.
What opportunity did your father have to sexually assault you? Were you often alone in the house with him while your mother/siblings were elsewhere and how old would you have been when any assault took place?
i may be way off mark, but do you have anxiety disorders? do you often spend time pondering or worrying about things that havent happened and are unlikely to happen? and does that then translate in to your moods in every day life? do you ecver look back at situations and imagine different endings which results in changes to your moods in real life?
My dad worked nights, so looked after me alone for most days when I was 3 and 4.
As for anxiety disorders, I don't think so. I spend very little time thinking about the past, apart from issues with my family. My dad was wet abusive in lots of ways. He made overtly sexual comments to us, he has emotionally abused us and he has bullied us throughout. I cut all contact with him two years ago as he made me feel so beaten and low whenever I spoke to him. My family knows he's an abuser, just they're wary of the physical sexual abuse slant, even though he exposed us to sexual content at young ages.
What do you mean by 'exposed us to sexual content at young ages'? How many siblings do you have and what age were you when your father left the family/marital home?
It's ab bit off for your therapist to make such a sweeping statement.
Decades ago there was a fad for recovering abuse memories in therapy when it never actually happened.
In actuality sexual dreams about parents are common. I wouldn't take any meaning from that.
Unless someone else in your family comes forward with actual memories of sexual abuse you will never know if this was a reality for you. You could spend years in therapy, you might unleash unconscious repressed memories of abuse but as a three year old the actual mechanisms for remembering are not in place yet to the same degree as an older child so doubtful.
It is very traumatic to think you have been abused. Your eating disorder may have roots elsewhere.
I would suggest looking for a more experienced therapist.
The fact that your father exposed you to sexual content as you put it is enough to have triggered a maladjustment in you so maybe concentrate on exploring your feelings for what actually happened as a starting point and then if other memories surface deal with them.
And possibly look at adjusting your sex life so that the positions etc do not make you feel uneasy.
But do try to normalise your life with your partner. He will have no idea how to handle this.
Best of luck.
If he exposed you to sexual content at a young age then that could feed dreams and probably cause uneasy unpleasant feelings in you as a child. So that you feel things were wrong (which they were) but perhaps there was no sexual abuse, just wrong feelings. Also if you were wee you probably felt guilt and uncomfortable with those feelings.
I would think off loading your fears and worries to a therapist would help alot, though an experienced one would be best, have you asked your GP for help?
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