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Question
Posted by: concerned | 2010/10/06

Sexual abuse

Hi Doc,

Sorry for the grim question.

As an adult, are there signs to know if a person have been sexually abused as a child?

I am 24 years old, and sometimes I cannot stand having sex with my husband. I love him so much and want to want to have sex (if that makes sense) but if I never have it, I''m fine. At times, when I finally give in, I cannot wait for him to finish and have even cried during or afterwards because I feel violated - even if I allowed him to. (the lights are usually off, so he doesn''t see me)

At times when I actually do want to, and it perhaps takes to long and starts to hurt, I feel like screaming! I cannot take it.

I don''t even like him touching me " there" .

I know my grandfather molested my oldest sister. What was keeping him from doing the same to me? I''m not saying he did, but why else would i feel this way?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

No. Some people seem surprisingly resilient and show hardly any signs of childhood abuse ( though they of course do remember that it happened - the sort of amnesia for such events claimed in profitable books, is actually rare ). And the various checklists of symptoms or signs of earlier childhood abuse are without a single exception, hogwash. Yes, of course, many people are adversely affected by such experiences, but in a wide range of ways, and no single combination of symptoms is characteristic of earlier abuse o limited to it - the symptoms seen in a previously abused person are also seen in people who were never abused at all.
And some of the "checklists" are mischievous and harmful, where they list extremely common symptoms, leading normal, unabused people to believe that they must somehow have been abused though they have no recollection of such events.
The single best predictor of earlier childhood abuse is that you remember that this happened - usually not in great detail. And also in one's earliest years, when, sadly, some abuse occurs, one is not yet capable for forming memories which can later be remembered.
There are many reasons to have an unhappy sex life, and many reasons for not wanting sex with one's husband. The enormous majority of people who feel that way, have NOT been abused.
What would help most, would be for you to carefully avoid seeing and psuchotherapist who is specially interested in survivors of child abuse ( because too many of them are so busy grinding their own axes that they may not attend properly to your own particular circumstances and needs ) but to see a skilled and experienced general psychotherapist for a proper open-minded assessment, and therapy to clarify why you have these feelings of aversion to sex, and to help you overcome these to be free to enjoy yourself sexually.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

4
Our users say:
Posted by: anon | 2010/10/06

yip ! it is odd a person gets all horney but then freaks and wants to grind teeth when doing the deed, very confusing

Reply to anon
Posted by: concerned | 2010/10/06

Thank you Cyberdoc! Your comment helps alot. I appreciate your time.

And Anon, sorry to hear you still feel this way at 40years of age. I hope you (and I both) can target this matter before it''s too late. Sex is supposed to be something special and fun. Feeling this way about it, makes it a " chore" , instead of a special time with the person you love.

Reply to concerned
Posted by: anon | 2010/10/06

I have the same thing and wondered exactly the same thing all my life i am in my 40''s, God help all of us

Reply to anon
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/06

No. Some people seem surprisingly resilient and show hardly any signs of childhood abuse ( though they of course do remember that it happened - the sort of amnesia for such events claimed in profitable books, is actually rare ). And the various checklists of symptoms or signs of earlier childhood abuse are without a single exception, hogwash. Yes, of course, many people are adversely affected by such experiences, but in a wide range of ways, and no single combination of symptoms is characteristic of earlier abuse o limited to it - the symptoms seen in a previously abused person are also seen in people who were never abused at all.
And some of the "checklists" are mischievous and harmful, where they list extremely common symptoms, leading normal, unabused people to believe that they must somehow have been abused though they have no recollection of such events.
The single best predictor of earlier childhood abuse is that you remember that this happened - usually not in great detail. And also in one's earliest years, when, sadly, some abuse occurs, one is not yet capable for forming memories which can later be remembered.
There are many reasons to have an unhappy sex life, and many reasons for not wanting sex with one's husband. The enormous majority of people who feel that way, have NOT been abused.
What would help most, would be for you to carefully avoid seeing and psuchotherapist who is specially interested in survivors of child abuse ( because too many of them are so busy grinding their own axes that they may not attend properly to your own particular circumstances and needs ) but to see a skilled and experienced general psychotherapist for a proper open-minded assessment, and therapy to clarify why you have these feelings of aversion to sex, and to help you overcome these to be free to enjoy yourself sexually.

Reply to cybershrink

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