Getting my girlfriend to talk about past trauma?
So I've been seeing a girl for almost four months now, and while she is quite shy on the surface I realized how much we had in common and how much I appreciated her from the brief glimpses I would get of her when she let her guard down. We were between friends and acquaintances for a few months before we ended up going out with a group and then spending the night together.
The relationship was a little awkward at first as it was very difficult to get her to open up or really talk at all. This past month has probably been the most productive in terms of my gaining her trust and getting her to be comfortable just talking to me about her day / life etc. I guess what I'm saying is our conversations are more natural now, which is great. Still though, she's said some things that cause me to worry that she's bottling up some traumatic stuff from her past...
I mentioned I'm attracted to her because of how similar we are, but for an interesting reason. I grew up with my dad gone for a good portion of my childhood, and that period was also the worst phase of my mom's alcoholism where she would seek out unhealthy relationships. As a result I've got some issues: I'm a pathological liar, I'm insecure, I don't like confrontation, I don't like to see others in pain and want to help them, and conversely I don't like bothering others with my problems, I'd rather bottle them up. This has led to my unique personality, which I've noticed is very similar to her's.
In talking with her I've learned she had her own childhood issues, and was often verbally abused by her parents which really hurt her self-esteem. However, whereas I grew up with siblings that formed a sort of support group and was able to move in with my dad when I was 13 or so, she only had one older sibling and lived alone with her parents for many years when they went to college. These past months have been our freshman year at college and her first experience living away from her parents.
Now to the main issue. I first got the idea that something was wrong as we got more and more intimate, as it took a while for her to get comfortable with me touching her at all, let alone doing anything sexual.
I guess my main concern is <whether> she was possibly sexually abused. That is where my mind went immediately after the first night, though obviously I hope very much I'm wrong. I also thought it sounded like she might be dealing with issues from a bad past relationship, but I am also quite positive this is the first relationship she's had. I want her to talk to me about it so we can work through it, but I feel like the more I ask her about it, the more I come off like I'm just trying to get in her pants. I'm also afraid that as long as she can find some way to ignore it, she will. Should I just keep waiting and hope that eventually she sits me down to talk about it?
Thanks for reading all this and for your help in advance, I didn't realize this would be such a mouthful.
Last edited by Administrator; 02-21-2012 at 03:43 AM.