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By acting or feeling this way after child abuse...

10 replies

confusionrus · 11/04/2011 11:25

When I was a child I was sexually abused by two cousins and my stepfather's brothers. Then when I was 15 and still a virgin, I was raped by my date. I never told anybody until I was pregnant with my daughter. It hasn't bothered me as much growing up as I would have thought, but now I'm 34 and find that I am thinking about it more. I don't like kissing (my husband understands but also doesn't), and then there's sex, its not that I don't like sex, it's just that I can go without it, I have to hype myself up every 3rd day and say to myself "remember tonight you have to do it" and when we do have sex I can't wait for it to be over, I hardly ever have a orgasm except if my husband goes down on me (sorry for the explicitness).

It has become worse when I found out my husband was having an emotional affair with this other person (about 2 years ago), I caught on before anything physical but am finding it very hard to get over, it's almost like I have put so much trust and love into him and the disappointment has destroyed my "me-ness". I am picking up weight, like sex even less and I don't know if it this is normal for someone who has gone through what I have to have all these feelings.

I feel like I am broken, I am very in control normally and nobody will ever know by talking to me, I have always been very protected by the walls all around me, but I think I am falling apart... has anybody got any idea what the matter is with me?

OP posts:

Honeybee79 · 11/04/2011 11:29

So sorry you're feeling like this.

Would you consider talking to your GP and/or a counsellor so that you can start to sort out your feelings? It sounds like you have been through such a lot and I think it's perfectly normal for you to be struggling to come to terms with it.


NicknameTaken · 11/04/2011 11:30

I think this is pretty normal, given your past. You're getting clear signals from yourself that this is something you have to deal with now, rather than just push it under the carpet.

I strongly recommend you get in touch with the nearest Rape Crisis Centre and see if you can talk to a counsellor. The only way out is through.


confusionrus · 11/04/2011 11:34

Hi Honeybee79, I have but all they want to do is drug me, I know that I am not depressed, but I just want to know if I am normal... We have no Med Insurance so I can't see a professional and am just trying to make sense of things.. I think hearing what people think is healing and especially in such a forum, anonymity does wonders.

OP posts:

FabbyChic · 11/04/2011 11:35

Sorry you are feeling like this, it is however possible for past experiences to become more traumatic as you get older.

Can you talk to someone about it, a therapist would be a good start, your head needs to make sense of the reasons as to why you feel the way you do.

YOu clearly have never dealt with how it made you feel at the time, and as time goes on, it is bothering you more.


Honeybee79 · 11/04/2011 11:36

It sounds to me like your response to all that you have been through is perfectly"normal". There's nothing wrong with feeling the way you do under the circumstances.

Are you in the UK? There are plenty of organisations that can help you with counselling.


confusionrus · 11/04/2011 11:38

Thank you NicknamTaken, I think that is a good idea, I know that the betrayal is what has brought everything to light, but it's obvious that it has just been festering..

OP posts:

confusionrus · 11/04/2011 11:42

I am South African, and our government health system is up to ..... This is why I am trying to deal with this and my head knows but my emotions don't correspond, like why don't I like kissing? The pigs didn't care about my mouth when they were doing whatever they wanted.

OP posts:

slightlymiffedmother · 20/08/2011 20:37

Try googling "ptsd" and "survivour to thriver" as well as councelling/rape crisis


heidiheidiho · 21/08/2011 09:29


I have not gone through what you have, but can let you know what happened to me (relatively briefly). I was raped, twice, when I was 18 by two different men, one my boyfriend, on two difference occasions (what a bumper year that was Wink).

As a child I was physically/emotionally abused. This 'life' became my normal and it didn't bother me at the time. When I was about 16 though, I felt exactly as you describe: I looked normal and pieced together, doing really well academically, but underneath I was falling apart and had no idea what to do. Luckily, somebody at my school realised something wasn't right with me and gently stepped in to help and eventually I felt a whole lot better.

Then came the rapes. After them I felt strange (and physically in a fair bit of pain) but I didn't spend time dwelling on them - to the point that I didn't even classify them as rape. I carried on with life and chalked it up to a bad experience, even when I'd realised what had happened was indeed rape. Then, a few years later, for no real reason, they started to bother me. Really bother me. Again, I felt like everything inside me was churning and collapsing, but on the outside, I was holding down a stressful job, having a great social life and able to present a 'normal' facade to the world.

I had boyfriends, but I also had a 'strange' relationship to sex (I told all my boyfriends that I'd been raped, just in case one day I freaked out and scared them - that never happened though). I couldn't shake the feeling of being, on some level, a piece of meat, even though none of them ever treated me like that.

Like you, I was living in a place where I couldn't access the sort of help available in the UK. I looked for it, but the only counselling I could find would have cost me about £100 a session Shock. So, I spent a lot of time reading online about rape, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), sexual assault, you name it. I also looked for a long time at what different professional bodies suggested about how to deal with the pain of difficult things in general and rape in particular. I can't remember any of the links, but it was a few years ago now and I'm sure that there is probably even more information about it out there, it's just a matter of searching. I also found, by chance, that a local church (I am not a member of any church) had a free counselling service. It had Christian overtones, but I made clear where I was with my beliefs and said that I remained open to hear what they had to say. TBH, I found that the spiritual side of the religion explained to me why rape is such an awful type of attack. Why, for instance, there is a difference between someone you love beating you up and someone you love raping you. Both hurt physically, both break trust, but there is another aspect to rape (at least there was for me) and understanding this helped me a lot - oh and I am still not 'Christian'!

Around the same time, I found out that my flatmate had been sexually abused as a child by her uncle, with the full knowledge of her parents, who had done nothing to stop it. She was working through a book called "The Courage to Heal Workbook" by Laura Davis. She found some of it difficult, but would just slow down on those sections and come back to it when she felt like it again. I didn't find a book like that about rape, there perhaps is one now, but she found this to help her greatly.

Everybody experiences these things differently, so this may be of no use to you at all - and that is perfectly ok! For me, I found that I did 'get over it', it took some time, it wasn't always easy and sometimes, unexpectedly, it was actually amazing. Some days something triggers a memory I'd rather not remember, but I know that it's only a memory and now I'm in control.

On the issue of your husband, he may never fully understand what you went through and are going through and that is hardly a criticism of him - if you've never eaten a seahorse, how can you know exactly what it tastes like... Perhaps all you can ask from him is his support (different from his understanding how specific incidents made/make you feel) and all you can offer in return is that you will do your best to help yourself, part of which is being kind to yourself and understanding that absolutely none of what happened, at any single point, was your fault, something you asked for inadvertently or something you deserved. Even at 15, you were legally a minor (at least in most countries) and no matter how mature you may (or may not) have been, no matter what happened in the minutes leading up to the rape, nobody, ever, ever has the right to use your body for their pleasure without your consent. As a minor, you were never in a position to give it. I'm sure you've heard similar things in the past, as we all have, but I'm telling YOU, confusionrus, not a single millisecond was your fault.

So, if you're still reading, well done Wink, because this is faaaaar longer than I intended it to be, I'm just a bit crap on the editing side of things! And, once again, YANBU!


dottyspotty · 21/08/2011 09:40

I'm really sorry you went through this but it is perfectly normal to react the way you are, I was abused by my so called brother from the age of at least 4 until 12 full sexual abuse it is actually my first memory.
I was hospitalised at 12 and underwent a D&C due to haemorraging Dr's told my parents that the injury found was caused by one of 2 things infection or sexual activity they brushed that aside as I wasn't like that.
I went through years of counselling both before and after my DC where born and it wasn't until I wrote the arsehole a letter that I started to recover you will get there in time I am 40 now and still have rare flashbacks but no longer nightmares.

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