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#227334 - 05/28/08 05:09 PM Do you ever wonder......
Marissa Offline

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 69
.....if you were SA as well?

You know - I feel like I'm reading into things.

I picked up a workbook for DH today for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I was flipping through it to check it out - came upon the list of lasting effects of CSA - it was creeping me out how many of them applied to ME. Some of them were very specific - the one thing in particular I find quite disturbing and shameful and have never even told anyone about.

I have zero memories of ever being SA - but we all know that doesn't mean anything.

I've always wondered if I was SA because I had such messed up views about sex and my body - but since I had no memory of anything happening - blew it off - I always attributed my messed up ideas to my extremely abusive church and all their caterwalling(sp?) about sins of the flesh.

Any thoughts or suggestions?



#227349 - 05/28/08 06:32 PM Re: Do you ever wonder...... [Re: Marissa]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2615
Loc: Central PA
My wife has quite a few of those issues as well. You might night have been sexually abused, but it sounds like so many others you were "Spiritually" abused. My wife was raised with the idea that sex was dirty and sinful and only meant for procreation. So she has huge issues with sex and whatnot. I've often wondered if there was anything else, but so far she says not.

#227375 - 05/28/08 09:51 PM Re: Do you ever wonder...... [Re: JustScott]
honey girl Offline

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Dear Marissa,

That's a good question, and it is probably worth investigating your feelings and thoughts about these memories--even if what I am going to say next makes it seem that there are many reasons to be cautious about reading in too much.

It is impossible to read backwards, in truth, regarding people's history and behavior. Actions have so many motivations! and regardless of patterns and clusters, people's reactions are not ever fully comparable. Each of us is unique, and so are our responses to distress or trauma.

There's also a phenomenon that tends to arise in first-year students of medicine or psychology: they read about all the symptoms and signs of disease and become apprehensive that those signs are actually present in them, too.

That said--sometimes it is indeed true that people don't realize for a long time that what happened to them was actually abuse. Sometimes that's because the vocabulary and concepts were not present when it happened; sometimes it's because somehow the abuse was normalized. It can take quite a while to get enough information to be able to redefine what one has lived through.

So, where does that leave you?

If you want to check into whatever you find so "disturbing and shameful" you might decide that what underlies it is benign. Or you might decide that it was abuse, in one form or another. To me, the question now is what use is it to you to examine your past from this perspective. You're the only one who can answer that question.

Sometimes it is helpful, when you're trying to make sense of what happened to you as a child, to pay close attention to a child of that age (however old you were when that happened, whatever it was). How would you respond if you found out that this was happening to a child you know now? Your reaction now can tell you something about how you feel about what happened then, even if you thought about it differently when it happened.

Some may charge me with being absolutist in a sense, wanting to "change history" by applying our present-day attitudes to things that happened years ago. There is some validity to that--and yet, I also would argue very strongly for our right to tell and retell our own life story as many times as it makes sense for us to do so, depending on what we learn about the world as we get older and encounter more of it.

Many of us F & F do find, Marissa, that we re-examine our deepest beliefs as we come to terms with what we are witnessing in our SO coping with the aftermath of SA. Part of that process may mean that we reconsider our own pasts in a different light than ever before. It's not always pleasant. It can be positive in the long run, all the same.

Good luck to you. whatever you decide to do about these questions.


I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

#229378 - 06/07/08 01:55 AM Re: Do you ever wonder...... [Re: honey girl]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
There's also a phenomenon that tends to arise in first-year students of medicine or psychology: they read about all the symptoms and signs of disease and become apprehensive that those signs are actually present in them, too.

This is the truest statement; it's a miracle people come out the other side and aren't committed to a rubber room. My sister lived with me while she was going through nursing school. They were some of the most difficult years of my life, so difficult in fact that I was on anxiety medication because her crazy maker was working overtime and spilling all over me.

Marissa, yes, memories can and do surface years after the fact. Partners have found that they had tremendous issues to deal with once they begin searching themselves because that need was triggered by what their partner is going through. Sometimes it's s/a, sometimes is spiritual abuse, sometimes it's just bad crap that we put away, never intending to think of again because we figured it wasn't a big deal. And maybe in the grand scheme of things, it's not. But when we closely examine our past, remembering some things can throw us for a loop.

I never thought I was abused, but I have run through my own childhood, which was good, but not perfect. There are things that I wish never happened and it made me sad to remember. There are other things that I forgot which made me smile all over again. This examination helped me realize a bit more how "I" was formed. I think it's brought a better understanding of me to me.

ROCK ON..........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.


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