What has the effect of being molested as a child had on your adult life

What has the effect of being molested as a child had on your adult life?

Answer Wiki

Pros: It has made me a more compassionate person overall, I think. It’s hard to accurately pinpoint it and directly link it to this since many times, compassion comes with age anyways. But I do feel this has helped me because I hate seeing people suffer, especially needlessly since I’ve gone through that. When a child is suffering it is infinitely worse for me. I also feel it has helped me understand human nature better. The good and the bad. Last but not least, it has given me a bit of a “pedodar”. Sort of like gaydar but for pedophiles. Or predators, if you want to be politically correct. It’s not perfect because many times, the last person you’d expect can be a predator. But I have worked up a sensitivity to creepy behavior and interpreting bad vibes.

Cons: It has caused severe anxiety attacks and flashbacks. These don’t happen very often but when they do, they are pure agony and torture. I will feel his hand on my crotch (and sometimes my butt). It makes my skin crawl even thinking about what it feels like while I’m writing this. I will also experience every single negative emotion I’ve ever experienced in my life simultaneously. Quite literally. Sometimes, while this is happening, I will suddenly be terrified that someone who loves me will touch me like that and hurt me. I know it’s silly but I just can’t shake the thoughts from my head and the sick squirming sensations from taking place. There are times (very rare) that I will be so depressed over what happened that I’ll be in physical pain from it. My body will ache all over. Thankfully, as I’ve mentioned before, these happen very infrequently and I can usually control them before they get too far. My real issue is the fact that it is insanely difficult for me to trust other people. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m parano >AJ Rouch’s answer to Are there cases of sexual child abuse where the child thinks they like it . It is incredibly painful to feel inherently alone inside. It’s not something I’d wish on my worst enemy. The other cons are too numerous and painful for me to list here now but some may be listed in the answer link posted above.


Why am I bothered now over being molested as a child?

Answer Wiki

Because old traumas stay for us forever. There are ways for you to overcome your past, but doing so would require you to defy conventional wisdom.

Survivors need to do several things:

  1. They need to understand the real reason for their abuse. And the real reason is most likely not what you think.
  2. Survivors need to experience catharsis. This is unpleasant. Survivors need an outlet of the anger that comes when we suffer injustice.
  3. Survivors need to channel some of their anger into making the world more just and using their anger as motivation to lower the incidence of sexual abuse, rape and incest. To do this, they first need to understand the root cause.
  4. They need to find a way to reprocess their past. Burying the past, forgetting about it, and just trying to move on with your life is like building a house over a haunted graveyard. Your past will haunt you for the rest of your life, if you don’t deal with it.
  5. Eventually, you need to embrace what happened to you and realize that you can find some silver lining in most every bad thing that happens to you. To some degree we all have the power to make lemon-aid out of lemons.
  6. We need to realize that even if we could go back in time, and relive our lives over again, our lives would unfold exactly as they did. We all would have made the same decisions we made with the knowledge we had at the time. What we can do is try to prevent others in the future from making the same mistakes we made.
  7. Survivors need to understand how sexual abuse, rape and incest typically affects people. All survivors incest they are different, that the way sexual abuse, rape and incest typically affects people is not relevant to them because they not like any other human being.

More often than not survivors do suffer a very similar constellation of conditions. And the number one condition they suffer from is denial, opposition, defiance, negativity, cynicism and being contrary.

The emotions of most survivors are very raw. Their egos are fragile. And they cannot tolerate any criticism. As soon as anyone suggests they might suffer from any condition, their knee-jerk response is always, “No, I don’t.” If you find yourself often saying, “No, I don’t,” most probably you are in denial and “Yes, you do.”

One reason most therapists hate treating survivors is because so many of them can’t take any suggestions under advisement. Normal people will say, “I will think about what you have told me and chew on it for a long time trying to digest it.”

If you tell someone who can’t take criticism that they can’t take criticism, and they will always respond, “You’re wrong, yes I can.” Survivors view people who criticize them as trying to put them down, being disloyal, and being their enemy. Survivors expect unconditional acceptance not matter what they do or say.

And if say this to a survivor, they will almost always respond.
1. You are wrong.
2. You don’t know me.
3. You have made all kinds of wrong assumptions about me.
4. I am nothing like what you say.

And, of course, they may be entirely correct. They may be one of the exceptions to the rule. However, if they were truly an exception to the rule, they would be so certain that none of the above applies to them. It is a known fact that most survivors tend to engage in denial and find it hard to admit the truth.

The reason for this is their egos have been injured so badly, their egos can’t take any more hits.


What are the stories of those who were molested?

Answer Wiki

My cousin brother molested me for over 3 years!

(Going anonymous because I’m not comfortable speaking about it in public.)

My mom works in a private firm, so she couldn’t take days off from work. Since I was a kid , she would send me to her sister’s house to play with her kids. My aunt has two kids; a 20 year old girl and 29 year old boy (let’s call him X)

I was 12 when my cousin sister was 10 and her brother 19. I am the only child to my parents and I always wished to have an older brother who would buy me chocolates and play with me the same way X played and supported his sister.

one day my aunt had to go shopping so she asked X to babysit us.

V decided to play and the neighbourhood kids joined us to play hide-and-seek. And my sister had to find us. So, X came to me and said that he knows a secret place to hide and no one could find us there.. I was thrilled. I soon agreed and started following him up the the neighbor’s apartment’s terrace and there was a small passage towards the south of the terrace which was abandoned for unknown reasons.

I was quite uncomfortable but he kept assuring me that this is the best place to hide. V then sat there. It seemed to me that he was uninterested in the game but I didn’t dare ask him. He then told me that I look cute while sleeping and he wanted to sleep with me (I was unaware of sex and rape those days). And he asked me whether I mind sleeping beside him.. I was clearly not comfortable with the talk but told him that I don’t mind because what’s eying in sleeping beside my brother? Right..

It all began that evening. When my sister got angry on us that she couldn’t find us during the game and said she’s going to one of her friend’s house to play and I was Uninvited (adamant kid that she was and still is).

Since she left I had no choice but watch Cartoon Network on T.V. I was lying on the couch and X made himself comfortable beside me and wrapped his hand around me. He started feeling my chest and stomach. I didn’t know what was happening. His hand went further south when I finally gave in to my intuitions and Asked him to stop it.

He didn’t listen. He said some things which I don’t clearly remember now, but didn’t make sense then.

And he also said that it’s common between a Btother and sister and I’m just overreacting. He even asked me not to tell anyone else since its meant to be a secret. I totally believed him.

This continued for over 3 years until I attained puberty and realised what he had done to me. I was shocked and cried for weeks, but didn’t tell my mom because I knew it would cause troubles in the families. I had to keep my mouth shut about it, no matter what.

One fine day, I gathered up my courage and asked him to stop it. He didn’t ask me a question but stopped it. And that was the day we both completely stopped talking to each other. I even refused to tie him Rakhi.

He’s 29 now A software engineer in a reputed MNC.

But he stole my confidence and self esteem, MY CHASTITY. I wish I could go back to those days and undo it because these memories haunt me when a guy approaches me. I’m scared to go to the terrace by myself.

Life is not fair. I was innocent, I didn’t do anything to seduce him. I am 9 years younger to him!

A small request to all the parents with girl kids.. Please DONOT trust anyone to take care of your child, because you never know what’s running in the other’s head.


Rapper Common reveals in new memoir that he was molested as a child

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Common has opened up about suppressing the memory of being molested when he was a child.

Two years ago, the rapper was workshopping a scene for his role in “The Tale” with actress Laura Dern when he suddenly remembered the hair-raising moment from his past, he revealed in his new memoir “Let Love Have the Last Word.”

“One day, while talking through the script with Laura, old memories surprisingly flashed in my mind,” he wrote, according to People. “I caught my breath and just kept looping the memories over and over, like rewinding an old VHS tape…I said ‘Laura, I think I was abused.’”

The Grammy-winner said the incident happened when he was about 9 or 10 years old when he was growing up in Chicago.

“I was excited for a road trip I was about to take with my family. My mother; my godmother, Barbara; her son and my godbrother Skeet; and his relative, who I’ll call Brandon.”

When he arrived at his Aunt’s home in Cleveland, Common recalled how he and Brandon had to share a bed one night on the trip.

“At some point, I felt Brandon’s hand on me,” he wrote. “I pushed him away. I don’t remember saying a whole lot besides ‘No, no, no.’”

The artist wrote that no matter how much he protested, the alleged abuser would not let up.

“He kept saying ‘It’s okay, It’s okay,’ as he pulled down my shorts and molested me. After he stopped he kept asking me to perform it on him. I kept repeating ‘No’ and pushing him away,” he wrote. “I felt a deep and sudden shame for what happened.”

Common, 47, believes he “buried” the memory of the assault, but is now seeking professional help to cope.

“I just pushed the whole thing out of my head,” he revealed. “Maybe it’s a matter of survival – even now, two years after that flash resurgence of memories, as I’m writing, I’m still working through all of this in myself and with my therapist.”

While the star has never confronted Brandon about his devastating actions and has not seen the alleged abuser in more than 25 years, Common says he has learned to forgive.

“I want to be a person who helps break cycles of violence,” he wrote. “This is love in action and I intend to practice it.”

This article originally appeared in Page Six.


Have you ever been molested?

Answer Wiki

It is because of a live-in partner of my mother, unfortunately. Most people I meet would describe him as a shy, respectful and mature man. I dont deny these, because it is also what I see when he communicates with other people. But behind closed doors, he is a child abuser and worse, a pedophile. I was 9 yrs old, when the first molestation happened. I remember waking at night lying on my back (I dont know how the hell that happened because I dont sleep on my back) with my pants halfway on my knees and someone putting oil, massaging and slapping my butt, raising my thigh and grazing along my thigh up to my hip cleavage. I remember him shouting at my younger brother to keep doing what he ordered him to do. I was really confuse, I have a hint that something was wrong, but I was raised on a culture where kids should always trust the elders. Then I hear him closing a bottle which maybe the oil, I dont remember what happened next, I just saw my brother showing up on the door, bathed in sweat and saying to him that he finished all the chores. Thinking it about now, I think he ordered my brother some chores in the middle of a night just so he can do what he wants, while my unknowing tired mother sleeps heavily on a bed next to mine (We only have one bedroom that time). I told this to my mother in the morning, her decision will determine if I will encounter another molestations in the future. He was so defensive, so angry that you will assume he was the victim, my mother fell for it. He said that I was a snake because I dont separate my undies with my pants, like how does that even connect to his wrongdoing? I dont have much choice, they kind of feed me. I just shrugged it off as a child, thought they were right and it’ll just be a temporary memory and I’ll probably forget about it. There have been other encounters after that. Here’s a list of what I can remember:

•Days passed after the first molestation, he touched my private part when Im watching tv. I said I didnt like it and he said Im being fussy. Other days are when I get sleepy afternoon and he will lie beside, massaging my back first everytime then circling my tummy?, and every time that hand slowly goes down inside my pants. And everytime I have to grab his hand and said I dont want to be touched there. Other time I said my anus is itchy and Im worried it might be tapeworms, and he eagerly volunteers to clean my anus by wiping it with cotton buds, I bent down and he did wipe it with cotton buds, maybe for a parent and child this is normal but thinking about the molestations now, it is the intentions that determine. And the following molestations showed his real intentions.

•Grade 5, I slept on the floor because I dont want to sleep beside him on the bed but molesters just finds their dirty way, I woke up with his hand hanging on the bed, on my thigh while his asleep.

•First year highschool, he rubbed his toes in my private part under. I cried silently and still not feeling contented, he put his hand inside my short in the morning. Im shocked at how my mother doesn’t see these. I told my mother again, and she just cried. I thought she’s gonna solve it but no, it’s just crying.

•Fourth year highschool, I woke up at dark when I saw my shirt is raised and he is trying to raise my bra. He was halfway there when I moved on my side. He ran fast and I saw him dressing up my younger sister. I realized that he took her to bath, at dark when everyone’s asleep?! Again, arming himself with excuse and props in case he gets caught. I just cried sleeping that night.

Now when I go away to pursue higher education and lived with my aunts and uncles, I gained some self-esteem. Living with normal families broke my confusion of what is morally right and wrong. And I was completely sure finally that all he has done is wrong in the eyes of God and in the Law. I now know my rights and how to defend myself. I now know how to react and what to do in case I find myself on the same situation. I visited my mother’s home because I missed my siblings. But I chose the home of my biological dad. Today, I am miles away from them in another country. I haven’t seen them for five months and I dont know if I’ll ever go back again. I even feel like the molester is not real. I am currently healing right now and it has been therapeutic and relieving to me to share these. It feels like I am breaking away from the manipulation to be silenced. Sharing these gave me control of my situation.


How do I tell anyone I was molested as a child? I am now 40.

Answer Wiki

The story below I have never told anyone before. Not my parents, not my friends, not even my wife. I decided now to write this using my profile. I am not ashamed, embarrassed or whatsoever.

When I was a young child, we lived close by a forest. I often spent my free days there, specially in spring or summer. One day, it was a Wednesday, a few weeks after my 9th birthday, so it was somewhere in May 1981, I went to the forest again in the afternoon. In the Netherlands, primary school is closed on Wednesday afternoons. I was wandering through the forest, and often I left the lanes. Hey, a little boy is adventurous. At a certain moment, an older men passed by. In my memory, he was 60+ or something. He asked me if I would like to built a a cabin in the woods. Of course I liked that, what boy wouldn’t?

We were building for about 2 hours, and the cabin started to look great. But I noticed that it started to get late, so I told him I needed to go home. Of course, during building you get dirty. So he said I could not go home dirty like this, and he started to sweep of the dirt from my pants. Especially from my butt. He told that it was difficult to wipe my pants clean, and he all of a sudden, put my pants down. He started to wipe it clean. But then he started also to clean my butt again, and then I put his hand in my underwear and started to stroke my penis. I was paralysed and could not move. Despite my fear, I still got an erection as he stroked it. Then he went down and took it in his mouth and sucked it. He did this for maybe 10 minutes, and he started to finger my bum. It felt like I woke up, and started to cry and said I had to go home. And he stopped. While I put my pants up again, he asked me if I would come back again next Wednesday to finish the cabin. I told him I would. Of course I did not, I did not go back to the forest for years.

I never told anyone this. And somehow, I had buried it deep inside me. But the last few years, since I am a father, it turns back to me. I am not emotional damaged, or in some other way. At least I am pretty sure of it, but as I mentioned, it started to bother me lately.

Therefore, I would like to advise you, just find someone you trust, someone who would not judge you, a person who knows how to listen. And talk about it!


Was I Molested Even Though My Clothes Never Came Off?

Making sense of sexual abuse

Posted Aug 29, 2014

I have a few questions that I just can’t seem to find the answers to. When I was between the ages of twelve and thirteen, a boy who was three years older than I made a career of fondling my breasts, touching my genital area through my clothing, and making me touch his genital area through his clothes. On a few occasions, he kissed me and then told me how I could do it better. All of this seems to have damaged me emotionally, but I don’t know what to call it. I mean, was that sexual abuse? Most sexual abuse victims are young children, with the offender being an older teen or adult. I guess I don’t know if I’ve been carrying around this “ick” for nothing.

Yes, what Rebecca described was indeed sexual abuse. According to the Incest Survivors Resource Network International (ISRNI), “The erotic use of a child, whether physically or emotionally, is sexual exploitation in the fullest meaning of the term, even if no bodily contact is ever made” 1 (emphasis mine). Unfortunately, Rebecca was molested, and she’s not alone in questioning whether or not she was abused. Many people don’t know where sexual abuse starts and where it ends, and they often assume that abuse happens only between an adult and a child. However, sexual abuse occurs not just between children and adults, but also child to child and adult to adult. Although an adult can be sexually abusedby an adult,this article focuses on the specific issue of childhood sexual abuse and the question that Rebecca raised.

A Lewd and Lascivious Act

In fact, because Rebecca mentioned that the boy fondled her breasts (indicating sexual intent) and made her touch his genitals (for sexual stimulation) when she was younger than fourteen years of age, under California Penal Code 288, her encounter with the boy is considered a lewd and lascivious act:

Any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for in Part 1, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony. 2

What is often not known, or is at least misunderstood, is that sexual abuse does not have to be violent, nor does the victim have to be naked or be touched.

Sexual abuse can affect anyone. Some startling statistics show that “approximately one in four girls and one in five boys experience sexual victimization” 3 and that a child is far more likely to be abused by a relative or some other familiar person. The perpetrator can be anyone you know, such as a parent, a sibling, another relative, a friend, a date, a priest, or a teacher. Molesters use various manipulative techniques, such as saying, “I’m a good guy,” to gain trust, or they might use intimidation or force.

Because the media usually discusses violent rapes and assaults rather than the coercion that children experience, victims of childhood molestation often try to downplay what happened to them and think it should not impact them. However, any sexual abuse can cause major, long-lasting psychological and physical symptoms, 4 and therefore, as Rebecca described, nonviolent sexual abuse can have key emotional after effects, as in any other type of sexual abuse.

Making Sense of Sexual Abuse: “Was It My Fault?”

Many victims experience a mixture of feelings, including confusion, guilt, shame, and a sense of being out of control, after being sexually abused. However, there are many types of responses, because we are all unique.

Children are trying to make sense of a world in which so many things just don’t make sense. Sexual abuse is among those things, because children still might have to conquer certain developmental milestones. Susan Clancy 5 points out that confusion is one of the most common reactions in children, rather than fear or panic, because they are just too young to understand.

Additionally, the victim might feel shame or guilt because he or she felt aroused (which is a very normal reaction). Feeling aroused does not mean the victim wanted to be sexual. This issue might be confusing because one might also feel guilty for not saying no or not fighting back. There are many reasons for that. Some victims don’t fight back, because they feel frozen and afraid of potentially making matters worse. Some act out of peer pressure to be sexual, feel that they must obey, or simply are manipulated into sexual acts. Some victims comply, fully understanding what is happening to them, but have a sense that it’s safer to go along with the perpetrator’s demands. Because children are aware of their dependence on the perpetrator for needs such as food, shelter, or even affection, many children may refrain from stopping the sexual acts out of fear of losing those survival basics. Many children also don’t know how to express what is happening to them or to whom to report the incidents. Extremely loyal and usually eager to please their parents and the people around them, children will put up with almost anything in order to be loved. Then there are those who fight back initially but eventually give up, because they are not able to stop the act.

“Why Did I Have No Memory of This until Now?”

Many people wonder how long-buried memories can suddenly resurface. Survivors of sexual abuse were never allowed to feel that something was wrong, because the perpetrator told them that what was happening was normal. Children see adults as setting the norm, so if it’s “normal,” then kids don’t usually register it as abnormal. It’s hard to remember everything that doesn’t make sense or seems weird during childhood. Often, it’s not until we, as adults, connect the dots and realize that we were abused that the memories return.

In adulthood, sexual abuse survivors might encounter a sensation, an image, or a sound that suddenly reconnects them to the past and that offers a new understanding of what happened. Initially, all they can remember is an “ick,” and there are different kinds of “icks.” For example, parents often tell their children things like, “Come on, give Uncle So-and-So a hug,” even when the child doesn’t want to. Remember, children learn from adults how to differentiate which feelings of “ick” to listen to and which ones to ignore, and depending on the age of the child, the vocabulary to distinguish between them might not yet be formed.

There are, however, physical and emotional symptoms to look out for. Children who have been sexually abused might get a stomachache, seem withdrawn, become angry or depressed, or wet the bed. In “Sexual Abuse of Children” from The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment, Lucy Berliner and Diana M. Eliott state the following:

Considerable negative effects can result from sexual abuse in childhood, including emotional distress and disturbance, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, behavioral problems, interpersonal difficulties, and problems with cognitive functioning which may lead to school failure or abandonment of education altogether. 6

Again, children don’t know where their feelings of confusion are coming from, because everything was “normal”—or so they might have been told. One has to understand what’s going on in order to know what is wrong.

Even in cases where abuse survivors know that what is happening is absolutely not normal or okay, telling on an adult or someone to whom they are supposed to listen is against their “training.” In school, when children are told to be quiet, they have to be quiet; they are trained to listen to authority.

Even adults maintain an unquestioning stance toward authority and often never doubt a doctor, researcher, or other “qualified” expert. We listen to professionals concerning how to raise our children, including how to discipline them and what medical treatments are necessary. Just as we often trust authority to tell us what is right, children do the same.

In my practice, I often have heard from clients that even if they, as children, understood what was happening and told their parents or another adult about it (for example, that a brother molested them or that a step dad or grandfather was having sex with them), nobody believed them. Statistics show that 85 percent of children do not tell anyone about their abuse. 7 Other clients have told me that when they came forward to their family members, they frequently became estranged from them as a result. Although it is rare for children to lie about sexual abuse, 8 the response to that type of disclosure can be disbelief or denial. Research shows that “[a]s few as 27% and as many as 87% of mothers respond supportively to their children upon disclosure.” 9 Parents can be in denial, may not know how to react or understand the consequences themselves, or may be afraid of what it means to acknowledge the abuse. However, as the previous study shows, there are also parents and other adults who take this matter seriously and react in the appropriate matter. Though, if nobody believes the child, he or she might be even more confused.

Confusion not only manifests in childhood. In fact, I have received many letters from adults of all ages who wonder whether or not they were sexually abused. Many are even aware that others were abused, but they still don’t realize that they themselves were abused until they sense that they have permission to feel the opposite of what they were told to feel and believed as a child. Not everything makes sense to us as adults looking back, because depending on the developmental state and the particular circumstances involved, each child reacts differently to abuse than an adult would. It’s important to recognize that all types of sexual abuse have consequences.

What to Do and to Whom to Turn

Recognizing that you were abused might come as a shock to you. Or perhaps you already know but didn’t have the tools, at the time, to do something about it. Please be gentle and kind to yourself right now. Do something to soothe yourself, whatever that might be. Please know that the abuse was not your fault, even though you might have been told that it was. Please know that you do not have to keep the abuse a secret anymore, as you probably also were told.

Breaking the silence by speaking about your unspeakable experience with the right person is how you can regain your power. Many secure, free hotlines are available that you can call to speak to a qualified listener who will help answer all of your questions, support you, and guide you to the next step of recovery. There’s a National Sexual Assault Hotline at RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network): 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). RAINN also has a website with lots of resources and recommended readings: www.rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-online-hotline.

Please also seek out a psychotherapist who specializes in abuse. If your budget is tight, there are many organizations that offer low-fee therapy. For example, a good low-cost source of help might be a psychology program in which advanced psychology students offer counseling under supervision, such as John F. Kennedy University Counseling Centers or CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) Counseling Centers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Many great self-help books are available; the following are some examples:

  • The Courage to Heal Workbook: For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Laura Davis (Harper Perennial)
  • Voices of Courage: Inspiration from Survivors of Sexual Assault by Michael Domitrz (Awareness Publications)
  • Lucky by Alice Sebold (Back Bay Books)
  • Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse by Mike Lew (Harper Perennial)

Both in-person and online support groups are available. Search online for a support group in your area. In response to my previous articles, readers posted comments, in a way, creating their own online support group. Perhaps you can do something like this too, or you can look for official online support websites for sexual abuse. Make sure the format works for you.

At this writing, more than thirty thousand people have read my former childhood sexual abuse blog and have left many comments. 10 This shows you that you are not alone.

You Are Very Important, and So Is Your Healing

Please remember that this is a blog, and unfortunately, I have limited space and time in which to write. Many people are seeking more information, but by now, I have too many requests. I am so sorry that I cannot answer many of them. Because you are important to me, I will keep writing. But please make sure that you receive the help you need by putting into action the suggestions I’ve made in this article. And keep looking for more help. I have seen so many people heal from sexual abuse, and even if it seems impossible to you, I know that you can heal too.

Please take the first step.


  1. Incest Survivors Resource Network International (ISRNI), manual, New York annual meeting (Hicksville, NY, 1990). Quoted in Barabara E. Bogorad, “Sexual Abuse: Surviving the Pain,” The American Academy of Experts in TraumaticStress, Inc. (1998), http://www.aaets.org/article31.htm.
  2. Official California Legislative Information, California Law, California Penal Code, Section 281–289.6, .
  3. Wendy D’Andrea, Julian Ford, Bradley Stolbach, Joseph Spinazzola, and Bessel A. van der Kolk, “Understanding Interpersonal Trauma in Children: Why We Need a Developmentally Appropriate Trauma Diagnosis,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 82, no. 2 (2012): 187–200, doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2012.01154.x.
  4. Susan A. Clancy, The Trauma Myth: The Truth about the Sexual Abuse of Children—and Its Aftermath (New York: Basic Books, 2009).
  5. See note 4 above.
  6. Robyn Hunt and Kerryann Walsh, “Parents’ Views about Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education: A Systematic Review,” Australasian Journal of Early Childhood 36, no. 2 (2011): 63–76.
  7. Stop It Now! “When a Child Tells about Sexual Abuse: What Protective Adults Need to Know” (2014), http://www.stopitnow.org/when_a_child_tells.
  8. Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett and New Hampshire University, Durham Family Research Lab, “How Many Children Lie about Being Sexually Abused? A Survey of Mental Health and Law Enforcement Professionals” (paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, San Diego, CA, January 23–26, 1991), ED332135.
  9. Ramona Alaggia and Jennifer V. Turton, “Against the Odds: The Impact of Woman Abuse on Maternal Response to Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse,” Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 14, no. 4 (2005): 95–113, EJ841170.
  10. Susanne Babbel, “Somatic Psychology: Bridging the Mind-Body Gap—Trauma: Childhood Sexual Abuse,” Psychology Today blog (2013), http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201303/trauma-childhood-sexual-abuse.

What bothers me about the

What bothers me about the initial story is that it’s possible that the 15-year-old boy molesting the 12-year-old girl didn’t know there was anything wrong. When I was a bit younger than that, I remember having fun tickle sessions with a girl my own age in grade school, and I didn’t have a clue about sex at the time — it was before the age of the Internet. We both laughed so hard we ended up with stomach cramps. But when her parents heard us one day, they came running into the bedroom and seemed very concerned. I didn’t have a clue what the problem was. They didn’t explain anything. We were just having fun. It wasn’t until many years later that I figured out what they were concerned about.

And though I’m certainly not an expert on child molestation, and I understand that early experiences can be more powerful than adult experiences, I sometimes wonder about the perspective. Because adults can certainly be sexually traumatized and have their confidence and sexual feelings highly disturbed by bad experiences too, to the point where they can’t sexually function in a normal relationship for many years.

My perspective

I doubt the boy didn’t know there was anything wrong with violating another person’s boundaries that way. When I was fifteen, I certainly knew better and would never have dreamed of doing that to someone. If you’re old enough to be a sophomore in high school, old enough to read and understand Shakespeare and Thornton Wilder (both required reading in some schools), and just a year away from getting your driver’s license, you’re old enough to know that you’re not allowed to touch other people’s breasts or genitals–especially if they are younger than you–against their will.

Years of wonder

Wow Susanne!
Thank you for the post. I encountered an incident as a child with another family member that has haunted me for years. I remember the encounter vividly but knew it was never to be talked about, so I buried it where kids do and went on with my life. Now, 47 years later, I find myself having sexual aversion problems and believe it or not, that incident keeps popping in my mind.
Thank you for letting me know that it’s ok to talk about what happened even if it’s decades later.
I don’t know if that incident has anything to do with my present problem, but the depth of my feelings now, must be coming from somewhere. I’m on my way to find someone to talk to. I need to pop this cork that has been sealed for years. Perhaps that will get my juices flowing and I’ll be able to make sense of my current dilemma.
Thanks for courage!
I’m crying already.

Definitely find a good

Definitely find a good therapist and talk about it! You wouldn’t be telling them anything they haven’t heard before. You are not alone!


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