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  • How can I not know if I was sexually abused?

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    Old 05-22-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
    skittlerainbow
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    Exclamation How can I not know if I was sexually abused?

    Hello everyone, thank you for taking time to read this. I would greatly appreciated your thoughts and input. Here's some backstory.

    - When I was about 4 years old my mother woke me up to find my underwear missing. She confronted my dad who said he took them off and that little girls don't always have to sleep with their underwear.

    - She then questioned me and asked me if he ever touched me. I said he did. I do remember this.


    <details removed>


    - She then confronted my dad who said he didn't do anything and to take me for an 'exam'. She did, it was horribly traumatic, and they said that I hadn't been raped, although I only claimed he touched me.

    - I think I have memories of him touching me at night when I was supposed to be asleep. I have had to sleep with earplugs since I can remember, because any slight noise makes me jolt awake in fear.

    - I have always had horrible dreams about my dad doings things to me, even before I knew what sex was. About him touching me. (I have an older brother and have never had dreams about him like this, and have never ever thought he did anything to me)


    - My dad is creepy around women in general, and psychopathic in various other ways - pinching and punching us, tickling us until we cried, killing moles repeatedly in front of me from the time I was three to four years old.

    My brother and his wife are having their first child soon, a girl, and my brother confronted my father two days ago about behavior he was concerned about. He wanted to know that my dad feels sorry for the things he did, and that he is a different person. My brother also accused him of molesting me. My father got really angry, flat out denied it, and since then his wife (my stepmother who has an 8 year old child) has been harassing me.

    They want me to say whether or not I think my father molested me. I don't know what to say. I feel like something happened, because of the memories I have, the things that I know happened. But sometimes I wonder if I am crazy and just am imagining things. I think if he did touch me it happened when I was supposed to be asleep, although I wasn't. I seem to remember lying very still, wishing it would stop. Around that time was when I started wearing earplugs. I also have PTSD symptoms and was diagnosed as being OCD a few years ago. I have been through a lot of therapy and am going to see my current therapist tonight to decide what to say to my dad/stepmother.

    But my dad is denying everything and is outraged at my brother's accusation. What if I am crazy? Does anyone else have any experiences similar to this? I really appreciated your help. Thank you.

     
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    Old 05-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
    Vocrinthedes
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    Re: How can I not know if I was sexually abused?

    I was abused by both my father and mother (in a number of ways but I won't go into detail), and I've had PTSD/GAD symptoms all my life. I've actually had therapists express congratulations and amazement that I survived to adulthood with any sanity at all and managed to cobble together a decent life. My brother committed suicide.

    First of all, it's pretty much a given that the abusers will deny any wrong was ever done. My parents' version of my "happy, fortunate" childhood was VERY different from the awful memories I had. (They are both deceased now.) They got very angry if I questioned anything. Until I was into my thirties and my mother actually forced me to see her therapist (drove me to her office!), I knew I had to be the crazy one and felt very guilty about my "memories" - surely my parents wouldn't lie to me! I must have dreamed these events that seemed so very real. But Mother had actually described to this therapist the "clever methods of punishment" she had inflicted on me and my brother - the therapist told me Mother was too "crazy" to even realize how monstrous she had been to her children. She looked at me with tears in her eyes, and said, "You poor, poor man."

    I was so stunned that I couldn't speak...I just broke down and wept uncontrollably...

    The therapist was extremely supportive and said she was so relieved that she got to talk to me. She advised me to try and move away as soon as I could, not leaving any trace of where I'd gone, as Mother and Dad would probably never change (personally, I've never known any abusive people who really changed, though I hope some do), and they weren't through damaging my life (which turned out to be very true).
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skittlerainbow View Post
    What if I am crazy? Does anyone else have any experiences similar to this? I really appreciate your help. Thank you.
    Second, I've always been told that if you can openly question your own sanity, that means you're not crazy. I think that most experts would agree that PTSD and OCD are not forms of insanity - especially since you recognize them in yourself. My mother often declared that she was one of the sanest, most stable people on earth, and she could actually act perfectly sane and poised when necessary, but she was confined in a mental institution a number of times for dangerous driving, carrying an unlicensed gun, shooting at imaginary "secret agents", fighting with police officers. My father often repeated that he was the most normal guy he knew, but I vividly remember when our neighbors across the street called the police because he kept standing naked in the upstairs window for their children to see.

    By the way, I also had a step-mother. She angrily forbade me to try and discuss with my father anything he had done to me. "He's a good man. I won't permit you to dwell on the past in my home!" she would say.

    Sorry I dumped so much here, but what I hope you can get from my experience is (1) you are NOT crazy - believe in yourself, (2) denial and anger do NOT mean innocence, (3) stick close to the ones you trust, e.g., your brother, and (4) if a person is toxic, abusive, or any kind of threat to children (you included), never feel guilty about getting them out of your life, be they parent or otherwise.

    Last edited by Vocrinthedes; 05-26-2012 at 09:00 PM.

     
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    Old 05-25-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
    katlin09
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    Re: How can I not know if I was sexually abused?

    Hi,

    Your not crazy. Our brains are capable of amazing things to protect us from things that we aren't necessarily ready to deal with. Sexual molestation/abuse is one of those things, what your dealing with is far more common than you think.

    My father molested me from the time I was 9 until I was around 13. I didn't remember it until a few years ago...then one day, I was in the middle of doing some vaguely routine thing and this horrific movie started playing in my head...scenes and flashes of memories I thought I had seen before but was never quite sure. I never really had any memories of my childhood, a vague scrap here and there, but nothing really concrete...and now I realize why. As my psychiatrist explains it my brain kept it all hidden away until "it" thought I was able to deal with the trauma of it. Because once you know that these things have happened to you, you do have to deal with them...you can't just lock them away and forget them.

    Of course your father is going to act outraged and deny he did anything wrong...you describe him as "psychopathic" and it sounds like he has some major problems, why would he admit to this?

    You've not done anything wrong, then or now. You were an innocent child then and now you're a young woman who is allowed to confront and deal with her feelings and emotions, they're YOURS, nobody can take them away from you, certainly not your father.

    Don't force things, meaning, don't sit around and try to make yourself remember what happened....it seems like it's starting to come unlocked and things will happen in their own time. Work with your therapist on how to deal with the feelings of fear/pain/shame/anger as they come. Don't let your father make you feel as if your wrong for confronting this, he's the one who was and is wrong, so very, very wrong.

    Lean on your brother if you need to, sounds like he loves you and is there to stick up for you. Just take it a day at a time, and never be afraid to confront your father for what he did to you, at some point you'll probably be ready to do that....and even if he continues to deny it, which he probably will, you have the truth and it will help you to know that he knows you know the truth.

    Hang in there and take care,

    Kat

     
    Old 05-26-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
    skittlerainbow
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    Re: How can I not know if I was sexually abused?

    Thank you all for your responses. I am an adult now, and engaged to a wonderful man who believes me and supports me completely. That is to reassure those who were worried that I was still in danger. I have written a letter that I will be sending to my father, addressing the abuse I experienced as a child. Who knows how he will respond. But I am prepared for whatever the outcome. My stepmother may or may not read the letter, depending on if he shares it with her or not. However, she knows about the accusations, so I assume she now knows to look out for her kid.

    This is all really messed up. I thought that maybe I would get an apology at the end of my father's life, but now it looks as though it has to be dealt with now. That's the reality of the situation. I think he will probably still deny everything. That will mean my relationship will end, but as my brother and fiance say, I guess I didn't have a real relationship with him to begin with. Thank you for your kind responses.

     
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