Childhood Sexual Abuse: How the past affects the present

Written by Barbara Wilson

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Rough estimates put one in three girls and one in six boys in the US at risk for being sexually abused. But exact figures are hard to assess because most children delay reporting their abuse until later in adulthood or never report it at all. Many of the women I’ve led through healing were not believed when they did report it, or worse, they were punished for sharing the family secret.

This is a difficult topic to write about and a hard topic to read as well. The thought of anyone using a child to gratify their own perverse sexual desires is an incomprehensible evil. It is an evil that has disgraced, destroyed and devalued the human race. But it’s real. It happens and the numbers of those affected by it are growing. Maybe it has happened to you.

Some of the questions I’ll attempt to address in this series are:

  • How do you know if you were sexually abused as a child?
  • If you were abused, how do you know if it’s still impacting you today?
  • How do I know if I need healing?
  • Why do I struggle with sexual intimacy?

I understand that you may want to stop reading at this point. If you have memories of sexual abuse, it can be painful to revisit those memories and the emotions associated with them. Or maybe, you are one that has no memory, but you have a ‘feeling’ that you were abused. You occasionally get an image of an event, a person, or of yourself in an uncomfortable situation and you wonder. Perhaps there is someone in your past that causes negative emotions to surface whenever you think of them or have to be around them. Again you wonder, but don’t know for sure.  Maybe you don’t want to know.

If so, I understand. What you’re feeling is typical. You’ve survived until now by shoving the abuse, the memories, that ‘wondering feeling’ deep down so that you could get on with your life.  Or you have minimized the abuse you do remember by saying, “it really was not that big of a deal”.  But lately it has been surfacing unexpectedly. You’re no longer able to keep it buried. It’s having an impact on your dreams, your marriage, your parenting, your ability to trust and to be intimate. Perhaps you need answers to questions like, “Am I this way because of what happened to me as a child?”

But there may be another reason you’d rather not keep reading. Shame. The shame that whispers, “You’re to blame. You didn’t say no. You asked for it. You wanted it. You allowed it to continue. It’s. All. Your. Fault!” I’ve led hundreds of women through sexual healing, and more than half of them experienced some form of sexual abuse or trauma, as in rape. And every single one of them had at some point believed that they were to blame.

It’s a lie, a horrible, evil lie! You were not to blame. It is not your fault. You were a child. Children have no sexual desire, unless that sexual desire is awakened against their will. I’m praying for you. Praying that you won’t let the shame, fear or the lies keep you from claiming the truth. God’s truth is this: you are not alone. It wasn’t your fault. You can be healed. There is hope.

For further reading in this series:

How do I know if I’ve been sexually abused?
Why do I feel this way?
How do I know if I need healing?
Why do I struggle with sexual intimacy?
How can I heal from my sexual past? 

Recommended Books:

Beauty for Ashes by Joyce Meyer
 On The Threshold of Hope by:  Diane Langberg
The Wounded HeartHope For Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by:  Dan Allender
List of Barbara’s Books  Barbara covers many issues in her books including Sexual Abuse and much more.  Titles include:  Break Free From Your Sexual Past, Invisible Bond, Kiss Me Again: Restoring Lost Intimacy in Marriage

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268 Responses to “Childhood Sexual Abuse: How the past affects the present”

  • Alfred says:

    Hi Caroline, Please do not give up; I believe it was God’s leading that you found this web site and wrote in to express your hurt. May I suggest that you ask for a personal mentor, following the lead at the top of this page. Then you can correspond on a one-to-one with someone. I am so glad that you say from your heart that you are a Christian, for that gives you access to the One who has all the answers, and will give you wisdom, courage, hope, and even joy. HE will see you through! The Bible if full of words of comfort that can give you strength; are you reading it daily? After years of reading it here and there, I am now following a plan to read it through in a year. It amazes me how often what I read speaks to my heart for exactly what I need that day!
    Dear Heavenly Father, I lift up Caroline to you for your healing, since you know her even more intimately that she knows herself. Meet her deepest need I pray. I also lift up her family, especially her dad and his sisters. Give them the heart to forgive their perpetrator! May, with the healing, also come a deepening of everyone’s faith, for it is YOU, Lord, who is working in people’s hearts. It is YOU, who are the Great Healer, and it is You to whom we all thanks, adoration and praise. In the precious name of Jesus we pray; Amen.

  • Caroline Mendoza says:

    Also my dad has a past. He was sexually abused by my grandpa. And he watched his sisters get raped by my grandpa too

  • Caroline Mendoza says:

    Hey im Carol. When I was 7 or 8 years old my Dad sexually abused me. He never performed sexual intercourse but he did alot of oral sex with me. Im 15 years old now and I never told anyone. Now I am Christian I received God in my heart. So I saved but lately I been getting suicidal thoughts. And i know suicide is a sin. But I see no other way to deal with this. He hurt me emotionally and I feel broken and depressed inside. I love my dad to death. He never gave me a reason to hate him even after he did hurt me. I have a good father daughter relationship until now but its killing me inside. My past and secrets are killing me. An it’s painful. I recently talked to my mom about itand she confessed that my dad forces Herr to have sex sometimes. And when I told my mom what has hall hap penned with me she cried and she wanted to call the cops. But I don’t want to report him. Because he is my dad and I love him. But now im getting worse. I am failing school I can’t concentrate. I hate my self for not doing anything about it. I have alot of suicide thoughts. And I hate the fact that I have to live with myself like this. Im broken and I feel like any given moment im gonna give up.

  • Chris says:

    rory…i regret to hear about your situation. this is not an easy one. being that these children apparently are not yours but your friends, it probably would have been better to have let the mother handle this directly with her children. having said that, your concern was good. its just that since you apparently arent the legal father, your role of authority here is basically non-existant. however we can always cling to Gods promise of romans 8.28 which says God will work all things out for our good when we love the lord jesus and are walking according to his calling in our lives. which of us has never made a mistake but how many of us have sought christ for the solution? its so important to see that the problems we go through are so many times a result of us distancing ourselves from God and/or our ignorance about his will through his Word the bible. i would encourage you today to check out more about knowing jesus personally as your lord and savior on or by clicking talk to a mentor above. whatever answers you need, we know jesus has the wisdom and resources for you to obtain them. has got some helpful insights also on understanding what a true family is and respecting Gods plan for us in marrying and not merely living together with someone. i pray for you now and your friend and children that this situation would end with a godly solution. that all of your eyes would begin to turn towards christ for the permanent solution you will be needing to live abundantly not only in this life, but also in the next in jesus name amen!

  • rory says:

    Hi my name is rory i was abused as a child and im going through a situation with my new partner when her oldest daughter abused the youngest . I reacted badly and called social work and they went after my partner gemma . That was never the problem . I thought that maybe my partners ex abused the oldest and she was acting out the act done on her. I suffer from acute anxiety and i dont know if i reacted properly or is there a proper way to handle this situation…

  • Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Hi Sally, Thank you so much for your courageous testimony, I am sure it will help others who have suffered similar abuse, denial and suppression of memories. I know it can be hurtful to family members when the truth comes out and suspicion becomes reality. I would never suggest that this should be done out of revenge or with a desire to break up relationships but at the same time, perpetrators rarely have just 1 victim and that same person can be doing the same things with other, younger persons who like you, do not know how to stop it. I really believe that you should try and put all this behind you now, you know it was not your fault, you have proved that you are a very able person with a responsible job and the only one who wants to keep reminding you of the past is the one who is seeking to deceive and destroy. (See 1 Peter 5: 8-9 in the New Testament)
    I do not know where you stand as regards faith Sally but I do know that God is able to heal even the most hideous memories and restore us to a place of joy and peace in Him. If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to go to the top of the page and contact a personal mentor whom you can write to personally if that would be of help to you.

  • Jane says:

    Dear Aubrey and Sally,

    you are not wrong, don’t hate yourself; you are worthy and complete. And you definitely deserve a great life. I am a victim of child sexual abuse by my uncle for an extended period of time too so I understand your pain. And I’ve been living in fear of breaking the family up had I spoken up…and tormented myself in all my years of growing up. In the last 2 years (I’m 34 this year), I decided to finally speak up. I refuse to believe I am wrong anymore. Because it is NOT my fault. I decided to fight for my right to be heard and to rally for support that child abuse is WRONG. I’ve done a documentary and trust me, we deserve every single bit of a worthy life.

    I will like to be in touch with you. Email me at [it is our policy not to publish personal contact information] Big hugs.

  • Sally says:

    Was this received?

  • Sally says:

    I am almost 35. I am a woman that came out about her sexual abuse just a couple of years ago. I had always had a certiain feeling and I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt this way when thinking of my stepfather. I always remember watching home videos that he would make and seeing where his focal point would go to when filming me such as straight shots at my vagina or on my bottom when I was walking up the stairs at 11 years old. I remembered nothing and still doubt my memory causing me even more shame to think that I have told a lie and ruined my mother’s marriage, a marriage she has counted on for almost 30 years to support her while she continues not to work. Tonight I found myself wanting to research as my doubts hit me like a brick wall, shame for making something up? because I truly cannot remember everything although things haunt me in dreams. My mother has always been a detached woman as she grew up in a not so great environment. She is now leaving my stepmother and relocating half way across the country to be close to me, my sister and my niece. This comes after much denial and her maternal family basically that I was lying. I have never been an attention seeker. I have a MSW and work every day in the capacity of helping others. I am in a director role. I still have no self worth. After coming out with this, perhaps in not the best possible way, I am having reactions from family that I am over-reacting or it didn’t happen because I am a liar. My grandmother even told me she had been sexually abused by one of her aunt’s husbands but she dare not tell her as her aunt would be devestated and she would never put that burden on her aunt… implying that I was so un-kind to bring this to the attention of my family and ruining relationships. My mother told me on a phone conversation one day that she was talking to her mother, my grandmother, when I was a child. She told my grandmother that she felt I was acting strange and brought up the possibility of sexual abuse with her second husband. She told me she was instructed by my grandmother to let it go and let my stepfather take care of us. My mom recollects now and it seems to her that her mother was aware but didn’t want it to ruin my mother’s dynamics at the time.

    Distraught and sad am I and oh how I have been. I need this weight off of these shoulders… been carried too long.

    I doubt me and feel sometimes I must be a liar… this is the worst of it all

  • Mark says:

    Hi all, I too was abused as a child. Now aged 34 I have been through therapy and spoken to many people who have tried to help me. 2 years ago I suffered a spinal injury, that has rendered me disabled. I struggle to walk. But hey ho. I started University on a film and TV production course and I am making a film about what happened to me. I have changed to names of the people involved but writing down what I have suffered by the hands of the neighbour, has helped me so much. To get every single frustration out of me, was a massive release for me. I hope one day, that you who have suffered abuse during any time in your life can find something that can help you. If you are suffering with depression or anxiety because of what happened. Do and talk to your GP. I did and I was sent to RASAC [Rape and sexual abuse centre.] They were brilliant, i am now no longer a pent up angry person who trusted no one. That included family members despite them doing nothing bad to me. GO AND SPEAK TO THEM, THEY CAN PUT YOU IN TOUCH WITH SPECIALLY TRAINED PSYCHOLOGISTS.


  • Chris says:

    David…i am sorry to hear of your lifes struggles. we know that life is not an easy thing to live so many times and we need to really see the need of having christ in our lives in order to live it successfully. i would hope that you have considered the claim of christ as described for us in the new testament. his life, death, and resurrection have no equals in the history of the human race. in order to live successfully and in our earthly relationships, its so important to have christ jesus as the head of them, in charge of them and directing them. otherwise we will find in our own human strength, we will fail. what kind of life do you think can be lived apart from God himself who designed it? if you would like more information on knowing jesus personally log onto or click talk to a mentor above…i pray you would see your need now for christ in your life and begin seeking him as the one true treasure that he truly is in life. amen

  • David says:


    I cannot believe that you just described my life. I cannot believe there is someone else who feels the same way I do. I, too, have cheated on my current serious relationship several times with no regret. I also wonder if I’m a sociopath. It’s so hard for me to care about other people deeply. Oh man. For the longest time, I never connected my emotional/relational instability to what happened to me as a child. But after the most recent time I cheated, something just clicked in me. I knew I had to address the stuff I’ve lived my whole life not addressing.

    I can’t at all begin to speak to your feelings toward your dad, because I’m definitely not a professional at all. I understand, though. Understand it all.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi SerenityNot, being isolated from your family can happen when you decide to stand up and tell the truth that has been hidden for so long. I heard one person describe a family as a mobile where the movement of one person impacts the balance of all the rest. The mobile can be crazy dysfunctional but it’s what everybody knows. When one person begins to make changes in their life, even if those are healthy changes, the rest of the mobile begins to swing wildly and everybody just wants to get back to the balance that they had learned to live with.

    But it is worth making the change and creating the turmoil because life can be so much better when we address the dirty secrets we have and make things right. Hearing that your brother took advantage of your sister shows that there is a pattern of abuse in your family. I wouldn’t be surprised if your ‘truth-telling’ is being rejected because there is a much larger problem in the family that goes even deeper than just the three of you.

    Don’t settle with being defined by your family’s dysfunction. There is a better way and your pursuit of that will be a light to others in your family. Many people who have gone through similar circumstances as you will agree that the road to healing may not be easy but it is worth it. There are some great books listed at the end of this article that chronicle the struggles and joys that others have experienced in their own pursuit of healing. Dan Allender’s book “The Wounded Heart” is a good one that shares a lot of help from many people’s experiences.

    You do not have go through this in isolation. There are others who will walk this with you. You can connect with one of our mentors who will be a safe friend to encourage and care for you on this journey. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at and one of our mentors will get in touch with you soon by email.

    Let me pray for you: Lord God I ask that You would comfort Serenity in her loneliness right now. Help her to know that You are with her and will help bring healing and newness of life to her. Bring people into her life who can encourage her and join her in this journey. Help her to discover the healing power of Jesus even in this dark secret of the family. Amen.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Aubrey, my heart just breaks hearing your story. What you father has done to you shows his brokenness and self-centredness. I can totally understand why you would want to be as far away from him as possible. But I also get how as his daughter you still love him and want to protect him. It must be a huge conflict that you go through inside.

    I am sure that conflict is part of the reason why you have never told anybody about this. I appreciate your trust in sharing it here. I want you to know that you do not have to be defined by what your father has done to you. You do not need to feel trapped in the turmoil of protecting one who has hurt you so terribly. I know it will be scary, but beginning to tell people about what your dad did will be an important part of stepping out of the darkness he created for you. Others who have gone through similar experiences have shared how they got beyond that hurt and turmoil. The lady who wrote this article has dedicated her life to helping others who have gone through abuse like she did. If you go to her site you can see some of the books she has written that tell her story of finding healing and help. She also has resources there that will help you take steps to get a proper perspective on breaking free from your past.

    As you will see from her story, her relationship with Jesus was a big part of healing for her. As she wrote on her site, she invites you to, “Join me in discovering God’s miraculous, life-changing healing power to set you free…free to live, love and serve with abandon.” He can change that hate that you sometimes feel for yourself into a awareness that you are beautifully made and that He has a unique purpose that only you can accomplish by following Him. There is no greater freedom than knowing that God is leading you into the perfect place for you.

    Let me pray for you: Dear Lord, I know Your heart grieves along with Aubrey’s over the way her life has gone. The abuse of her father has had such a destructive impact on her and she needs to break free from all that. She needs Your help Lord. I pray that you would help her to discover Your love for her and that through Your love that the darkness in her life would be overpowered by Your light. Don’t let the lies that she has been told continue to hold her back from the hope and joy that You have planned for her. Bring people into her life who will help her to find healing and newness of life that is based on Your truth and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

    Aubrey, I know it may be hard to talk about this in a public forum like this. If you would prefer you can connect with one of our mentors in a more private conversation. It is free and you will find our mentors to be good friends who care very much about you. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at and one of our mentors will get in touch with you soon by email.

  • Chris says:

    trying to understand… has a great course entitled the cross centered mind. encourage your wife to sign up and be set free by the power of Gods Word. blessings!

  • Chris says:

    aubrey….i am sorry for your experience. we know that when we receive jesus, jesus can blot out our past and give us a totally new life in him. if you are interested in establishing a personal relationship with christ and how to go about that, log on at blessings to you today!

  • Aubrey says:

    My name is Aubrey. When I was just 2 years old, my father started sexually abusing me. He would lie me down on the bed and tell me to take my clothes off. Then he’d stare at me and then finger me and perform oral sex. I was so young that I didn’t know it was wrong. It went on for 10 years.

    When I was in the 7th grade, I took a required health class and realized that everything he did was wrong. I felt dirty and broken and I didn’t know what to do. So I told no one. To this day, I have told no one. I don’t want my father to go to jail for what he did. I realize I am a little messed up in the head for saying that, but I love my father, and I try to forgive him everyday. He’s the reason I’m able to go to college.

    The abuse happened for the last time on my 13th birthday, when I woke up with his hands in my pants. I promised myself that if he ever touched me again, I’d turn him in. I’m safe now. I moved over 1000 miles away from my home to get away from him.

    I’ve had multiple boyfriends. I’ve cheated on my current one multiple times, and feel no regret. I’ve tried to kill myself. I was diagnosed with major depressive and anxiety disorder. I constantly steal money from my father. Sometimes I think I’m a sociopath. I have a good heart, I really do, but I’m an awful person. And I hate myself.

    No one knows any of this. I’ve never stolen from anyone else. I would never hurt anyone on purpose. Sometimes I just feel so lost, and I have to wonder why I was even put on this earth.

  • Chris says:

    sernitynot….dear friend…i am sorry for these difficulties. we know that family doesnt always mean what the Word implies. that is why we need to have our faith solely in the lord jesus christ so that his great faithfulness and love can sustain us in our lives every day we live them. if you would like to know more about knowing jesus in a personal way and having his love, forgiveness and joy in your life, log onto… blessings to you!

  • serenitynot says:

    I was sexually abused by my older sister, i was prepubescent, maybe 10? Im 50 now, she’s 54, she told me a couple of years ago that our older brother had sexually abused her..I wondered if that was sort of an apology to me. Over the years she has used various controlling methods with me, will not take my calls for months for no reason, and then will be my best friend. She would always tell me I needed psychiatric help for MY issues, and my what she called ‘angry outbursts’ to her. I told a therapist 2 years ago about the abuse and she said to confront my sister. I did and she denied it all…shut me completely out of her life, as has the rest of the family. To be honest, in a way i wish had kept sweeping under the carpet, i find this isolation very hard to deal with. ANyone understand?

  • Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    Lord I lift up Your daughter Susie and ask that you will heal and comfort her as her parent. I pray that You will bless her and take all of her pass away and cast it into the sea to never be seen again. In Jesus name Amen

  • Susie says:

    Hello everyone,

    Well my story is about me and my boyfriend. I was hurt many times over the years between 6 and 15.I went through a breakdown in my early twenty’s.I tried to take my life by using pills. I was lucky i had a good friend who was there for me.I also had a supportive spouse. Through the tears ive had men who were quite pushy in the bedroom. I am currently having flashbacks about the past.I have come down with a severe case of hives to top it all off.I am on medicine for my PSTD.I take medicine but it barley takes the edge off. I am trying to get myself to go talk to someone.Im also looking for a support group for women . Anyways ive been so cranky and grumpy this past week.I find many days where i wont eat but one meal and a few snacks. I also find it hard to deal with my 3 children.My oldest has a severe learning problem, called auditory processing disorder.Along with major depression. He acts like my younger boy instead of a young man of 20.Ive had a really hard time latley.I am so grumoy and upset. Between my health issues and my past haunting me im losing it.I seen a dpcyor yesterday and he said it was my rash causing me to be irrtable. So will see in a few days . Now in April my boyfriend pf 5 years left me.Then a week later he came back and told me he was raped by his female babysitter in the house where we live.He told me that he had therapy as a 13 year old but it didnt help him. He claims they told him he could not be fixed. He has always had issues with sex and touching or kissing. He would get a sour face when i kissed his cheek or lips .This was the norm for the last 5 years. Sex was not something he wanted to do but once a month or every few.I knew something was behind it but i was not prepared for what he told me. He even compared me to the sitter who raped him when he told me everything in April.So he told me he didnt know if he would come back home.You se i love in his childhood home he bought from his parents in 2000.Im leasing it right now from him. I love him very much.But he wont get help .He is now ignoring me completly.His sister is letting him stay at her cabin. Meanwhile its been over 2 months since ive seen him .He wont come by fir rent money or reply by email etc. I am feeling like i may go completely mad .Is it normal for someone to act like my boyfriend? I have always been able to talk about my past with close friends etc. Everyone keeps telling me to let my guy have his space. I worry he may hurt himself. Hos family wont tell me anything. But they are selfish and very focused on themselves. So im a emotionally wreck.I prayed for everyone on here tonight. Do you know how ive made it through the things in mt past? I focus on the good times of my childhood.I watch old movies on tmc or talk to a friend.I also take meds for my panic attacks and pstd.. I keep negative people out of my life.This includes my fatger and siblings. I pray on my knees at times for mercy.Even thou im stressed right now i know i must go on.Not just for myself but because my kids need me.Just writing this has helped me tremendously. I ask fir prayers to help me to be patient with my kids etc.thank you

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    Charlotte…also you can hear testimonies that might relate to your situation at, other women just like you have found the freedom from their past through a personal relationship with jesus. you can to. his loving power removes our past hurts and deceptions and brings us a new life that he died to give us on the cross through receiving him pesonally. to know more about this experience log on at… hope to hear from you son!

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    a teenaged kid…you might get some local help and find out about your rights there in spain about sexual abuse, and/or by talking to a local pastor or your school counselor for assistance. if you dont know of a pastor, just tell me your city and i can check. also has a nice study on dealing with these situations mentally called the cross centered mind. check it out. i know it will be useful to you and please write back any time. blessings!

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    Charlotte….jesus never refused anyone who came to him, not even prostitutes. all are welcome to come and to receive forgiveness and start new lives. do that today. invite christ to change and transform your life and he will. give him all of you and you will see he gives all of himself to you, to save, cleanse and purify you from all sin. blessings!

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    a teenaged kid….you can know that the love of jesus for you has no beginning nor will ever end. simply give your heart to christ today. let him take over your life and heal you of your past, wiping it all away with his precious blood. simply invite jesus in and he will be your best friend for life. write back soon!

  • charlotte says:

    I was sexually abused and assulted as an adolescent, I found myself prostituting myself, I also act out even if I’m not enjoying it. Its horrible I have no self respect and I’m ashamed of myself for behaving this way but I can’t seem to stop. Can anybody else relate?

  • a teenaged kid says:

    Hi… I wish I wasn’t such a coward, resorting to writing this onine but I don’t know what else to do. I am a 15 year old boy, soon to be 16 and I’ve kept this dark secret since I was around 4 years old. When I went to nursury (or kindergarden) I knew this kid who was the same age as me who taught me to play with my privates… at first It just felt wierd and I remember bleeding often.Since then I had several erections before I was even 5! After that I always felt wierd and different from other kids. Anyway about a year and a half pased and my mother introduced me to the daughter of her friend. we became very close friends and I often played at her house. I noticed her 17 year old sister was becoming very attached to me and always hugged me, called me cute and always spent time with me. After about 5 or 6 months she invited me to her room and had asked me if I had ever done “grown up things” to which I responded with a no. she offered to teach me and said it would make me more grown up and like James Bond (I was a huge James Bond fan at the time) and so I accepted it. we began with just kissing with our tongues but in a couple of weeks she striped me and showed me her private area. she told me to touch her and do other things to pleasure her. We continued doing what I called “grown up loving time” several times a week until I was nine. The worsed part is that I even started trying it with her little sister, that has haunted me for a long time even though we did it once.

    When I was nine we moved to Spain and I hadn’t told anyone (still haven’t). I thought I had put it behind me because I felt embarased about it. For a time it was true and I didn’t think too much about it. but after puberty hit me at the age of 10 I began thinking and dreaming about it and when my mom would call me her preciouse baby (like moms do) I always felt dirty and sick with myself.when I was thirteen is when it all came crashing down on me, however. as I started reading romance novels, whatching romantic anime and playing videogames with a romantic element in the plot; I began to hate myself and cry for no reason. I would look at myseld in the shower and call myself a peice of trash. I continued to have difficulty with myself and when I was fourteen it just got worse as I was having roubles with my parents. I began sliting my wrists and only stoped a month or so after my 15th birthday thanks to my school counselor. Anyway now is the present. a few days ago (this might sound strange) I found that I could relate alot to a fanfiction about violation and came to realize that I was violated or molested or whatever… it is as if I just admitted something that I was denying for most of my life. now, however, I feel even worse and even dirtier as if I was the one who did the molesting. I don’t know what to do and I can’t tell my parents, I just can’t. I have no friends, let alone close friends, and no one I can trust. I’m worried if this will grow into some kind of mental problem that will make me commite suicide in the futur. I need to know how to deal with this without telling my parents… please… help me. I don’t like whining but I don’t know where to turn.

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    finding myself…do you have a blessed Christian church where you are being prayed for and ministered to? if not let me know your city and state. i can check on one for you. blessings today!

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    Yes. I am saved but I’m trying to be a better person so that I can go up to him. I’m trying to leave the past where it’s at but it seems like it’s haunting me.

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    finding myself….i am sorry to hear of your difficult past. we know in jesus, that he makes all things new for us when we receive him as our lord and savior. could i ask you if you know him savingly? i would love to lead you in prayer if you havent. blessings!

  • FindingMyself says:

    I remember when I was younger.I use to spend the night over my auntie house all the time. It was like my second home. My cousin she was older than me by like 5 yrs older than me. A lot of people use to spend the night over her house, like family. Kids close to our age. Well long story short, she would always have everybody doing sexual things because everybody would be in her room. I don’t remember ever having sexual intercourse but we would all be humping eachother with our clothes on and at night she would be watching porn and stuff. Everybody was younger than us so I don’t really think we knew what we we’re doing. Sometimes I would have anal sex with my boy cousins we was soo young. I remember also having anal sex with my other boy cousin. I had to have been between the ages of 6-8 he was a lot younger than I, maybe between 3-5. I remember when I was 4 or 5 my cousin she had me and another girl cousin do things to her that was sexual. It didn’t occur to me that those things was wrong until I became somewhat aware about incest and sexual stuff at like 12-13. I also was molested by my grandmas boyfriend at 8. I really don’t know at what point when I was younger when did all of these sexual things started happening. I also have pieces of memories of her and my brother. Idk if they we’re sexual or what but I know it was something. My brother passed away 11 yrs ago he was 9 and I was 6 when he left this world. He was a year younger than her. A lot of things like that happened in my childhood. I never really discussed this with anyone. How could people so young want such sexual desire. Was we ever exposed to such things when we was younger. There’s so much more and I really need help. Everybody is grown now. I’m 18 , she’s gay and has a gf and a daughter which I think she abuses. I still see and talk to her but no one ever mentions those things ever.. I’m trying to move on which I have but I be so concerned about her little girl that it keeps me up at night. I love her so much. I sometimes think has those things damaged me mentally and emotionally.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Notimportant,

    (I don’t like calling you that. You ARE important and so is the question you’ve asked.) Childhood sexual abuse is a really big thing to deal with. It’s hard to talk about but it’s harder to live with it and not talk about it. The fact that your boyfriend told you is a good sign. That took a lot of courage. The challenge for you now will be finding a way to support him without putting too much pressure on him. You’re the first person he’s ever told, that’s a huge honour (and also a big weight to carry). How you respond to this news will show him whether or not he can trust you. I know that it’s tempting to want to get him to speak to a professional as quickly as possible (and you’re right, he is going to need to do that at some point) but if you push him or bring it up too often he might feel threatened. It’s important that he feels safe. If he doesn’t, he won’t do the incredibly hard work of talking about it.

    So what can you do? One option is to make resources available to him in a non-confrontational way. You could do something like get him a copy of Dan Allender’s book The Wounded Heart and when you give it to him say something like, “I know it was a huge deal for you to tell me what happened and I know it’s hard to talk about, so I got you this. Read it when you feel ready, and if you want to talk about it I’m here.” That way you’re giving him help, but not requiring him to take action right away. He needs to be in control of how he deals with what happened to him. Abuse often comes with a loss of power, so it’s really important to make sure that he has that power back. If he feels pressured or threatened he may turn away.

    Second you can let him know about online resources where he can get help without having to sit with someone and say the words out loud. RAINN (the rape, abuse and incest national network) has a hotline he could call if he was ready. You can find them online here:

    The hard part for you is going to be letting him move at his own pace. He’s someone you love so you want to fix this and make it stop hurting as soon as possible. You can’t fix this. But you can be a support and a strength to him as he does the work of putting the pieces back together. Be gentle with him. Be patient. He is fighting a hard battle. And make sure that you have some support too. You’re in this together now. If there are times when he pulls away when you’re touching him, try not to take it personally. Look for a time to talk when you’re not being sexual and ask him where or how he likes to be touched. There may be certain parts of his body, or certain ways of touching him that bring back memories. If he can tell you, you can either avoid those things or work with him to gently reclaim them.

    Another big thing here is trust. Make sure he knows he can trust you. Be very careful about who you choose to tell. Abuse always breaks trust and makes the victim wary. He trusts you and that is beautiful. Guard that trust.

    I’m glad you came here and asked for help. This is a big thing to carry but together you can work through it. Be honest and talk about things, be gentle and don’t push, be joyful and love him and have fun together. Remind him that the world is a good place. (And if you want to talk, we’re here.)

  • Notimportant says:

    Hi, my boyfriend just told me that he was sexually molestated as a child. He’s 20 now. I’m the only person he’s told. I don’t know what to do or think. I know I won’t be able to forget what he told me. I told him that he needs to seek professional help, but he won’t. He told me that he will be okay but everytime we have tried to do anything sexually that reminds him of it, he refuses to do it (this was before I knew what happened). I know this isn’t something you can keep bottled up in you and not talk about. I just don’t know how to help him! He won’t want to talk about it to me and I’m not going to force him, I would just really like him to seek some professional help. Because this has obviously had a huge impact on his life. I love this kid more than anything and it really hurts me to hear what happened to him. I don’t know what to do! Please help.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Mnorris, there can be a lot of different cause of impotence in men including past hurts and abuse. When you say your husband will not admit it do you mean the connection between his abuse and sexual dysfunction? It is good that your husband felt free to share with you the memories of abuse. You want to be careful about sounding accusatory because that could shut him down again. Talk with him and try to understand his feelings in all of this. Try to be able to articulate his feelings in a way that helps him know you are understanding him. Sometimes it can be helpful to do that with a family counselor or other professional.

    At the bottom of the article there are some books listed that could be helpful. Your husband may connect better with Dan Allender’s book “The Wounded Heart”.

  • mnorris says:

    My husband was molested by his aunt for several years when he was about 5 until about 9 years old. She was several years older than him. He did not share this with me until about 4 or 5 years ago. I believe that the memories started to flood his mind and he told me about it. I also believe it is the reason that he is experiencing impotence but will not admit it. We have been married for soon to be 30 years and he did not experience sexual disfunction until about 10 years ago at which time I believe he began to have difficulty and began having memories of the abuse. Can anyone comment on this?

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    You are so right that God can heal our brokenness like no one else can. As we draw near to Him, He takes our broken pieces and makes something beautiful out of it. I think that is why I love the verse in Joel2:25 where it says that He redeems the years that the locusts have eaten. In other words He takes what seems devastating and uses it to make something beautiful. We may forever walk with a limp but we have great understanding for the pain that people go through.

  • anonymous says:

    @trying to understand. I was sexually molested when I was a child and suffered from frequent sexual advancement of many men around me. But nothing is more helpful than nurturing your Christian Faith. It has helped me healed myself completely. Your wife needs to have the will and the desire to nurture her faith. Spiritual healing is the most effective remedy to heal a broken heart and a broken soul. Hope this helps. May God Bless your family.

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    I think that the advice that you gave to Christina is good advice for yourself as well…to raise it with those you trust, perhaps your mother or your older brother and sister to see what they remember as well as talking to a professional about it as well. It sounds like there was definitely something going on that shouldn’t have been. As I mentioned in my comment above, if you’re not sure how to get in touch with a counselor RAINN has a free hotline and online counseling available: 1.800.656.HOPE(4673) (RAINN is the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. They do good work.)They might be a really good place for you start. They have people you can talk to by phone or online.

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