Childhood Sexual Abuse: How the past affects the present

Written by Barbara Wilson

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? 

Would you like to talk to a mentor? Just use this form and you’ll get a personal, private response from your mentor, usually within a couple of days. Can we pray for you?

Recommended Reading:

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

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi unknown, I am so glad you feel safe to share your story here. I agree that talking about it is an important part of healing and not allowing the cruelty of others to destroy who you are. It sounds like you and your siblings are still together, is that right? That is a wonderful gift and does not always happen. Does your brother and sister also have a chance to talk to counsellors? Do you guys get the chance of talking to a counsellor together sometimes? That sometimes is very helpful.

    I want you to know that you are not to blame for anything. No child should ever have to experience what you have and no one at your age has the ability to process all that mess. I am sure your counsellor has talked with you about this as well and you need to listen and believe it: you are not to blame. You can now though learn how to respond in a healthy way to your past. Look for trustworthy people in your life whom you can talk to about these things and ask for advice for facing decisions and emotions.

    There are a number of really good books listed at the end of this article that you should consider getting for yourself. Most of them are written by ladies who have gone through similar circumstances as you and have found ways of healing from the pain they grew up with.

    Let me pray for you: God, I pray for this young lady and ask that You would lead her to people who can help her. I pray Lord that You would comfort her in the confusion and uncertainty of each day. Guard her and her siblings. Amen.

  • Alfred Alfred says:

    Hi Jane, I’m so glad that you had “a bit of closure…” at your grandfather’s funeral, and it’s very good that you could say “ ‘it’s over, it’s over; he’ll never hurt anyone again’”. Still, you felt the need to write in and tell someone, which means there is a need for the healing which you are now seeking. I’m wondering whether your sister may also be able to benefit from this blog. To read what Claire Colvin has written will give you several good leads:
    1. If you’re not sure how to get in touch with a counsellor RAINN has a free hotline and online counselling available: 1.800.656.HOPE(4673) https://ohl.rainn.org/online/ (RAINN is the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. They do good work.)
    2. If you’d like to talk to someone privately by email first you can use this form to contact a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days.
    3. I don’t know if you have a faith perspective or not. Often abuse, especially sexual abuse in childhood, can radically alter the way we see ourselves. This is what God says about who you are. He thinks you’re beautiful

    I’m looking with you for a time when you can say: “I remember what happened, but it doesn’t hurt anymore”. That will be a reward worth striving for.
    Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for healing, restoration and joy that can be ours. I bow before Jesus, asking for healing for those who’ve been wronged as well as for the perpetrators and also for other family members who could not help but be affected by these sins. May Jane as well as her sister find the right people who can guide them to find healing and a new lease on Life. YOUR Word says that through faith we are made new, our self-esteem is restored, and we can serve You in a new and beautiful way. We pray all this in the name of Jesus, our intercessor. Amen.

    Reading through the many entries, has revived painful memories for me, as there was abuse in our family as well. On one occasion I touched our daughter’s breasts, and the whole family became aware of it. This was after I’d let go of the Lord for several years and was living in the ways of the world. But God had not let go of me! HE showed me where I was, and upon repentance, He turned me around and lifted me higher than I’d ever been before! That was my Spiritual revival! This daughter is now very happily married and very cheerful whenever we visit. I know she’s forgiven me; yet I now feel that I need further healing. Believe me, I’m extremely careful with our grandchildren that they can trust and love me! Blessings to all who read this, and may God help us in the process of sanctification (of becoming more like Jesus). I’ve printed out the poem: “This is what God says about who you are”.

  • unknown says:

    I am fifteen years old. I’m female and I live in a broken home. When I was 3 I was molested by my grandfather. He had
    Been doing the same exact thing to my mother all her life. She would go to countless parties and has many different sexual partners. Her partying got extremely out of hand when me and my 3 siblings were sent to foster care. Before we were sent there, you could imagine our home lives werent any better. I have 3 siblings. But their dad isn’t my biological father. My bioilogical father is nowhere to be found. We have an estimate, but we still aren’t sure. All my life, my siblings father would beat me. It was never ending. I had no one to help. My mother had her partying streak as more importance. We were constantly moving, trying to start over. But once we moved to the state I’m in now, everything blew up. Since my mother had been out all the time, I became the siblings mother. My stepdad (their bio father) kept leaving to Indiana. He was having an affair and so was my mother. They let it continue for three years, and my mother knew how I was treated. It’s hard to think about and seeing him be so nice to them was so aggravating… It hurt.. I thought why not me? Ya know… And as I got older, it became even harder to cope. Here’s the bomb it’s degrading and shameful and I’m going to rot I deserve it anyway… We moved again. In with my stepdads sister and some random scary man she met online. I never trusted him. Everyday walking around was a struggle he would always watch me and I’d usually get pissed and I jicked him once making him injure his keg. I hated him. Later I saw him watching the kids it made me so unsteady I never left them alone. At this time I was still receiving beatings. My younger siseter was never out of my sight. One night I woke at about 4 in the mornin and this man was in our room we shared. He proposed.. this is so hard to talk about he proposed I and my brother to… And I just.. well I seemed help and I contemplated over and over suicide and I lost all my sense and I’ve damaged my family forever I don’t know what to do you see the results of what happened between my siblings and I every day and it hurts it all my fault I shouldve done something… Later we moved again and this is where I am currently. My parents devorced and then mom made me the mother again went to foster care, like I told you earlier. They know most of this story but not quite all of it. I was free from my father yet everything that has happened still traumatizes me to this day. My mother never believed me on what happens to me with her own father. He died in January and I didn’t cry. I didn’t have any remorse for him. I felt horrible but I hated him and I celebrated his death. Yet after he side I had ongoing dreams about him and what happend. I don’t anymore. And I’ve talked to counselors but I just want my siblings to lead a normal life. They’re so lost I can see it and it’s my fault we never speak of what happend and I think that is our downfall… I want them to be alright ilk rot in hell in order for them to live normallly and be happy

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Ready to Heal,

    What a long, hard road you have walked. I am sorry to hear that you did not get the protection and support you needed. I will tell you the same thing I’ve told many others on this site: seriously consider professional counselling. You have been through multiple traumas – your experience with your friend’s grandpa and finding out the truth about your Dad. This is a lot to handle on your own. If you’re ready to heal, let a professional help. Healing from something like this doesn’t happen with time, it happens with work and it’s work that is very hard, probably impossible to do on your own. I do not believe that God is punishing your for your Father’s sin.

  • Ready to Heal says:

    This might be a long post but my story is a bit more complex than others, and I do hope someone will read it and give me some feedback. When I was a young child of about 5 years old I was molested by my best friend’s grandpa who lived with them at the time, and shared a bedroom with my friend (seperate beds). Her grandpa wound up getting married and moved out of their home. I used to stay over at her house all the time and anytime I would come out of the bathroom he would be there waiting for me so he could take me into thier (my friend and his) bedroom where no one else was. For some reason it was always done in the walk in closet inside their room. I guess once he moved out of their home is when I started to not be able to stay the night with her any more. I would cry and cry until my mom would come get me. I remember my friend’s mom pulling me aside one day and talking to me privately and she asked me if her husband had ever done anything to me. I told her no, but I remember saying in my head that it was her dad that did it when she asked me that question but never said it aloud and she never asked, I just wanted her to ask me about her father NOT her husband, because I believe if she had I would have told right then and there. So I would then only go over for day visits and the threat at her home was no longer there but something inside of me would not let me stay the night with her any longer. After we no longer went to the same school my friend and I lost contact until years later.
    Now I am the youngest of three children, we all have different fathers. I have a sister who is 8 years older than me and my brother is 5 years older than me, and my brother and this said friend of mine’s brother were also friends. I say all of this because of the next part of my story.
    When I was about 7-8 years old my sister sat me down in my room one night and told me that my dad had molested her, and it had gone on since before I was born until shortly before the time she told me. And I remember her asking me “Do you know what that means?” I was a child and had never heard of those words before. She explained to me what he had done to her. At this point I had surpressed the memories of the things done to me. At age 8 my father went to prison for what he had done to my sister. Let me make this clear to anyone reading my story, my father never touched me. My mother and father are still together.
    When I was in the 6th-7th grade I started to have flashbacks of what was done to me, and that is when it dawned on me what had actually happened and at that point I was old enough and knew enough about it that I knew what was done to me was the same thing my sister had endured. I had a different friend in middle school that I confided in, and she confided in me that she had something similar happen to her by a neighbor, we were each others confidants. To us it was a releif to not be alone and to know that there was someone else who had endured what we did. About a year later I told my sister what my friend’s grandpa had done to me. I knew I could talk to her about it. She felt very ashamed of herself because she confided in me that my friend’s grandpa had tried to do to her what he did to me, she sobbed right along with me as I told her what happened and she felt terrible that she didn’t protect me. She didn’t think that he would mess with me because I was so much younger than she was. When the flashbacks started and after I told my sister I told my mom of what happened to me. She told my dad. They knew who had done it because at that time we were back in contact with my friend whose grandpa had done this. I was very clear with my parents that I didn’t want to press charges because I didn’t want to hurt my friend or her family, now I regret that decision. My dad when he found out I could see on his face that he was very deeply upset by this news, he told me not to tell him the name of who had done it because he would then have to report it to his counselors and they would take action regardless if I wanted them to or not.
    When I was 14 my father was released from his counseling after completing it, one condition of him ending his counseling was that my mom and I had to go to the last couseling session with him. In that meeting I found out all the drugs my father had ever used (he’s sober now). I also found out that my sister was not his only victim. His counselor was looking at me as he was reading out all that my father had done, there were at least 3 other victims. The counselor asked if I had understood all that I was told. Oh I understood alright, when we left I kept my composure until we got home and I locked myself in my bedroom and just lost it. Who was this man that I knew to be my father? I thought I had known of all his crimes and thought it was only my sister. My mom and dad both were upset about what the counselor had said, they didn’t know he was going to do what he did, why would you tell a child all of those terrible things?
    My sister had forgiven my dad and we all lived together. I was so very angry at my father for years to come for what he had done. At one point he had said to me, “I paid my time for my crime, your sister and I have mended things, when are you going to stop persacuting me for this?” I had to come to terms with what happened between them, it was hard, but I had my sister’s help. She had gotten closure and justice for what my dad had done to her, but for me, justice was never served and closure still hasn’t happened for me yet. My dad and I have a good relationship now and so does he and my sister.
    About 7 years ago I saw my friend whose grandpa had done this to me and since I was an adult and pregnant with my own child I wanted to try to discuss this with her, BIG MISTAKE! She lived out of town and was in town for a few nights and was supposed to spend the weekend with me. The night that she stayed with me I had discussed with her about what her grandpa did to me, she flat out called me a liar and was convinced that her grandpa would never do anything like that. She accused me of making it all up, even though I told her details of where it had taken place, and she could have easily remembered the house and how he would isolate me from everyone else. She still insisted that I was a liar. We changed the topic and had a good night and I thought everything was ok. When I woke up the next morning she had said that her mother was coming to get her, she gave me no explaination of why she was leaving so fast, she was supposed to have stayed another night with me. I guess I scared her off by telling her. I had even told her to ask her mom about that time frame, and to ask her about when her mom pulled me aside to ask me about her dad NOT her grandpa. I don’t know if she ever did or not, but her mother would have been the one that could have collaberated my story, she knew something was wrong, but asked about the wrong person. I have not seen nor heard from this friend since she left my house those 7 years ago.
    I am 25 years old now and I still have flashbacks, they come and go with no provocation at all. I was never put in counseling for it and I’ve had to deal with it on my own. I suffer from depression at times, I have a bad temper, I believe due to this trauma and I still get upset about it.
    Not long ago I started to get back to my religion, I started to read the Bible and something that struck me was where it stated something to the lines of “I will punish children for the sins of their fathers/parents”. This struck me bacause it accured to me that maybe I was punished for my father’s sins. I’m not sure of the logic of how I came to that conclusion because the Lord would not want a child to go through what I had endured. Just recently I found out that my dad was molested as a child as well, and instead of him ending the cycle it continued. Well I say it stops with me! I would never be able to hurt any child the way I was hurt, I know how it feels and what it does to a child, I lived through it. I have a child of my own and could never imagine ever hurting him the way I was hurt. Because of what was done to me it affects me with my son, when bathing or clothing him I look away from his body, it almost makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong just by looking at my child and taking care of him, even though I have in no way ever touched him inappropreately or thought of him in an inappropriate way. I shouldn’t feel guilty about bathing or clothing him, but because of my past it somehow has made me this way.
    This has helped getting it all out of my head but I’m not sure I’m close to closure and healing yet. How does one heal from this? How do I get the flashbacks to stop coming back? I am ready to heal and I am up for any suggestions and prayers that anyone can send my way. I look to the Lord everyday and ask for his guidance, but what else can I do?

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hello Student,

    So often people feel guilty about things that happened to them when they were children and how they reacted or did not react. It’s important to remember that you were just a little child and in no way prepared to deal with a sexual encounter. You’re going to need to let go of the guilt from how you reacted. Imagine how confused you must have been to have an experience you could not explain, and one that it sounds like you tried to deal with on your own. Have you ever had a chance to talk to a professional counsellor about your experiences? That would be the best thing for you to do.

    You’ve seen how this experience has shaped your behaviour and thinking and how that, in turn, is affecting your daily life. A counsellor can help. I often tell people that if you broke your arm you wouldn’t try to fix it yourself, you’d go and see a doctor. What has happened to you is not something you need to try and fix on your own. Let a professional help you. I know that it is scary to talk about these things, but look at what a great job you’ve done describing your experience here. Be brave again, and ask for help.

    As for facing your cousin, I’d caution you to consider not doing that alone. I do not know this person but sometimes a person can become agitated when they feel cornered or threatened. Make sure that you keep yourself safe. It might be wise to wait until you are stronger and further along in your recovery to think about talking to him. A counsellor will be able to help you find the best way to proceed.

  • Student says:

    Although compared to maybe others who commented, my experience may not be as serious, I would still like to ask for help regarding the aftermath of sexual abuse as a child.

    I would not like to go into detail about my past experiences, but it involved my cousin(male) who molested me as I was sleeping, and could have gone further if I did not open my eyes ,or if we were not in my house. I feel extremely uncomfortable with the fact that I feel not resentment, or even disproval at what he did. Mostly just fear of contact, and disgust(mostly of my body). I know its wrong, and it’s his fault. When I was in middle school, and I finally understood what happened, I begun telling myself to forgive him, and denied the fact that it happened. He usually is timid and polite, a slightly feminine boy that sometimes gets bullied. I do not understand what he did at all. I have never told anyone, except maybe a few experience sharing site. Mainly because 1. He was my cousin, 2. My mother, who was a health teacher, has repeatedly warn me about molestation and sexual encounters, and I didn’t want her to know that her very own child was exposed to sexual molestation despite her efforts to prevent them, 3. I felt dirtied.

    Although I was not aware, the event has changed me drastically. I used to be a very girly girl. I loved dresses, and long hair was my thing. After the molestation, which happened when I was in kindergarden, I started acting very boyish, and refused to wear any kind of dress. I would make fun of myself, and hide any kind of development as a female. I avoided close physical contact with anyone, and hated being touched. I became the class clown, and avoided being called “cute” or “beautiful”. In fact, I loved it when people complimented me for being sportive, or strong.

    But worst of all, i started allowing people to wrong me. Perhaps its the mentality that “its okay for him/she to wrong me if I love them” from the the incident. It wasn’t bullying, but more like letting others use me, and comforting myself by saying its okay. This is a onging problem that has been present in all the 4 schools I’ve transfered ever since elementary school. I tend to choose friends who are prone to abuse me, and stay silent when they treat me wrongly. I first realized the molestation’s importance, and started remembering things when my other cousin, brother of the one who molested me, touch me inapporiatly several times(thankfully I got angry and stopped him after the third time). Then I was forced to face the event and its consequences, due to heavy verbal abuse from close friends in my last school.

    I then experienced a period of depression, where I was afraid of everyone, because I believed all classmates/ friends I make would abuse me, and I didn’t have the skill to fight back. This was around half a year ago, and I still am afraid of my friends.

    I am now 16, and I wish to stop this pattern at all cost. I’ve thought about talking to my cousin face to face, but so far I have no courage to. I want to stop all my classmate who verbally abuse me, but I don’t know how to. How could I stop this from happening?Is there anyway to change my mentality, and start defending myself? If this is the wrong page to discuss this problem, please provide a link as to where I could look for help.

  • Jane says:

    It’s interesting reading these comment, finding out your not the only one things have happened to. I was molested by my grandfather earliest memories are about three to when I finally broke my silence at 12, he would have kept at it, I have no doubt. Details aren’t important, it was abuse, it was rape and it was wrong. I remember being at school and learning about wrong touches and how to say no. I remember saying no to him and he laughed in my face. That’s it he just laughed and kept going. I was young and I thought no would be this magic word and it would just stop. It didn’t. He’d come over or we’d go there, if I refused to hug or kiss him he’d say what a little bitch I was, everyone just treated me as if I was the little trouble maker of the family, always making trouble why else wouldn’t I give grampy a hug and kiss? There must have been something wrong with me, that’s how they all treated me. When I was 12 I was getting a beating for mouthing off at my dad when he had me backed into a corner I just yelled out ‘dont touch me please don’t touch me like him’ my parents froze and my mom took me to my room and asked me what I ment. I told her everything. They didn’t press charges, didn’t call the police. My grandma was ill and they didn’t want to upset her so they just made sure we weren’t alone. That doesn’t help he’d do things in a room full of people, just descretly. A year later my sister told too, it had happened to her as well. My grandma passed and we stopped seeing him all together. He’d still come by when he knew my parents would be at work. He’d knock at the door, peer in the windows. I’d hide in the closet. I’m grown now with kids of my own. I’m uneasy with anyone hugging them. I count the seconds in my head wondering if this person or that hugged them too long. My grandfather died last year. I went to the funeral and my parents were shocked. I didn’t cry just stood there stiffly as everyone else did, my sister didn’t go. Leaving the cemetary I collapsed walking away from the coffin. I had this rush go through me like a drop on a rollercoaster, I cried when I could finally talk I just repeated over and over ‘ it’s over it’s over he’ll never hurt anyone again’ I’m glad I went I got a bit of closure I’ve never had before. He’s gone now he can’t hurt me anymore, but the memories of what happened will always be with me.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi gm, I am sorry to hear that things have not gone well. You’re being very brave in asking for help and trying to tell your story. Keep being brave. Is there someone else at the school that you would feel safe talking to? Is there another relative who could help?

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Depressed/Ashamed, First things first: you are not evil. When you are exposed to porn in childhood, especially when it’s coupled with unwanted sexual encounters it can warp the way you see yourself and your sexuality. You said that you feel stuck, have you had the chance to talk to a professional? I know that these are hard topics to talk about but I promise that the hard work of healing is easier when you’re not trying to do it alone. There can be a lot of shame associated with early exposure to sex. Don’t let those feelings keep you from seeking out help. What happened to you was not your fault and you don’t need to carry the weight of that. A professional counsellor can help you work through both was has happened to you and the choices you’ve made since. You don’t have to stay stuck. This can get much better.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Tryingtocope, You are over 18 so if you see a counsellor and talk about what happened to you no one can force you to press charges. It’s different for children, but as an adult it’s your choice to prosecute or not. Seeing a counsellor is a really excellent idea. What happened to you was a trauma and healing from that hurt is going to take some work. If you broke your arm you wouldn’t expect to just patch it up yourself, you’d see a doctor and do whatever was necessary to set the bone. It’s the same with the hurt that comes from being abused. It can heal, but it’s really hard to do that healing on your own. Let the doctor help.

    I know that it’s scary, but I promise that it is worth it. This is a huge thing to be carrying on your own and it may be that you don’t even realize all the ways it has affected you. A counsellor will help with that. You’ve been really brave to comment here, that’s a fantastic first step. Be brave again and go to see a counsellor. Look for someone you’re comfortable with. You may find that a woman is easier to talk to than a man, but go with what works for you. Remember that these counsellors have dealt with this before. Whatever you have to say to them won’t shock them, it won’t be unfixable. They can help.

    If you’d like to talk to someone privately by email first you can use this form to contact a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days. I don’t know if you have a faith perspective or not. Often abuse, especially sexual abuse in childhood, can radically alter the way we see ourselves. This is what God says about who you are. He things you’re beautiful.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Marytrauma, If you only read one thing, read this: This was NOT your fault. You were not naive or stupid, you were a child in the presence of an adult who was supposed to protect you. You had every reason to trust a family member and he took that trust, broke it and used it against you. That’s his failing, his crime, not yours. It’s the same thing with you neighbour. You were not looking for, asking for, or consenting to a sexual encounter but you were overwhelmed. Perhaps the other child was physically bigger, maybe he intimidated you. He might have threatened you or tried to convince you “that you wanted it”. None of that it true and what happened to you is not your fault.

    It’s very common for victims of sexual abuse to feel like they took part in the act so it’s partially their fault. It’s not. It’s not as simple as “just staying away”. Have you ever had a chance to talk to a counsellor about what happened to you? This kind of abuse can leave scars well into adulthood but there is a lot of healing that can happen if you’re willing to get help and do the hard work of healing. This does not have to be the part of your story that defines you forever. I strongly encourage you to find a counsellor you can meet with. If you’d like to talk to someone privately first, we have email mentors available. You can use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days.

  • Tryingtocope says:

    I was sexually abused when I was around 7 years old by two people and now I am 23. One of them is dead in an accident which I sometimes like to believe is Karma although I don’t know if that makes me a horrible person and the other long gone I don’t know where, nor want to know. I have never told anyone and at this point I just want to start to heal I don’t want my family to know I just want to be able to talk about it and move on but I am afraid that if I seek professional help I will have to file a report and my family will find out and I don’t want that I just want to be able to tell one time one person so I can move on

  • marytrauma says:

    for what I remember I have been abused by two people. Once when I was five and the other when I i was 11-14. When I was five years old a guy that lived next door, dont remember his age just know he was probably around young adult or older teens. He would bribe to come and play outside in the back yard soccer and obviously as a child I loved to play…but when no one would be around he would put me in a corner and made me perform oral sex and he would touch me. The other was my uncle, he offered me drinks or order me to come in his room and he would molest me. he did this for a while. Honestly I do feel like it was my fault. Like I asked for it. If simply I would have stayed away this would have never happened. I was really naive and stupid. I do blame myself. For that I feel disgusting and has taken a toll on my self esteem. I do have problems with sex. Ironically I became a nymphomaniac. Whatever psychological issues these abuses caused I have to deal with them for the rest of my life.

  • gm says:

    its me again ihave been crying i tride to tell my gramma i tride to tell my school about be molested by my step dad . nobody would beleive me!every job i had i either got fired or quit.the school i went to was marion l steel high school.im going to contact them and asked them why!

  • Depressed/Ashamed says:

    When I was very little, maybe 7 years old, I was exposed to an onslaught of explicit pornographic video all in one sitting. After that followed under the covers touching by an older boy (only 2 years older) over a period of time. This was followed up in my childhood by others asking me to let them touch or kiss me, and I allowed it. I later on (around 10 years old) found myself addicted to pornography, and, I horrifyingly admit, was lured into touching someone who was younger than me. I am still addicted to porn and I don’t know how to stop. I find it so hard to face what I did in the past and what was done to me. I was afraid to tell my parents anything because I feared that they would say I was evil. I’m not sure how to move forward with my life. I feel stuck.

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    Lord I lift up my friends to you at this time in there lives, as they have been sexually abused and that You will heal them In Jesus Mighty Name Amen

  • unknown. says:

    im so sad… i read all of these. my wife actually was raped. she will not share it, but i know it has harmed her in some way. i wish i could help.. i wanna help everyone who has been through this. i wish i could. i just want everyone who has been through this pain, to know … i understand… and you can get through it. its possible… just dont give up. there are people who can love you more than love itself. i do not know you. but trust me, i love ya to… you are not alone, and never will be. my heart and soul goes to all who have been through pain. :’( you are all my family. my friends. i hope in this life you can enjoy it. im sorry.

  • Confused and tired says:

    When I was 9 my half brother started molesting me in my sleep, the first time he ever did it I got the courage after an hour to tell him I was awake and to stop and was crying. I told my mother the next day, I told her please not to talk to him about it, I remember feeling so sick. He started doing it again, it’s mostly a blur, I always blocked it out but in some part of me it made me feel like I mattered, and after awhile it just became normal. I blame myself and guilt eats me alive. I told my mother at 13 that he had been doing it the past few years and she threatened to kill herself, I had also kept it to myself because I was ashamed and didn’t understand any of it, but when I started to I would think exactly what happened, my mom would threaten to kill herself, my dad would want to kill him, and my family wouldn’t be the same. After she threatened to kill herself I didn’t tell her that it kept happening for another year. I had gotten the secret out when I went to Lakeside for wanting to commit suicide and I begged them not to tell my dad because he would kill him, and not to report it because my family would fall. And they understood and kept it to the self after talking to mom, she talked to him and told him that I was scared of him and not to scare me anymore, he said okay, but he did it once more. This time and the first time was the only time I stood up to him, but he would always be ashamed? He was not mean, only mean during the day. I don’t know why I was so scared. He was normally drunk, but not always. I told him to leave and he looked down and said really quietly sorry, and went to the other couch to touch his girlfriend, I came back in there and said leave and he did. Mom was angry at me when I told the therapist and she told me dad, and tells me it’s my fault he may be going to jail, and I feel like it is too. Maybe I deserved it, or maybe I could’ve stopped it instead of being frozen. As I get older and court gets closer I feel as though I’m getting angrier and sadder and guilty and confused and I just have never shared this really with any one, I would never go into detail. Just that he touched me a lot. And I think I have PTSD, and I feel like when I was little he did worse. I never had a hymen. And I use to have nightmares of a monster touching me when I was in kindergarten, but he did it to his other little sister before I was born and mom said when I was little they use to ask me a lot of questions I didn’t understand, and I feel like that effected me too. All I can think is its my fault, and I can’t seem to move past it. What if I’m like him? What if it was just as much as my fault? I was scared for so long, but when I understood why didn’t it stop? Why did it begin to feel normal? I hate him, and it triggers the memories living with my mom and knowing she could have stopped it the first time.

  • my step dad molested me when i was 11 at 12 i told my grandma she didnt beleive me.it started when my mom was in a mental hospital.am a reg. sex offender now.for cchild porn i have been exposed to porn since i was 10.my step dad had me &my sisterget naked to have sex i was13 she was 12.i couldnt get it up itold my sister i was sorry for what he tried to make us do.we pretended like we were having sex.my sister is dead,murdered im 58 now an i stay in my room most of the time i dont trust anybody.cry sometimes angry sometimes i play shooting games to get rid of my anger.i watch alot of tv isleep alot i wish my i wish i would have never been born.i was born out of wed lock.my moms dead i hated her for years an didnt talk to her then my aunt called an said she died,i cryed for 3days.myparents get devorsed when i was 15.he got a new woman an i called her abitch an he kicked me out at 15 years old.i slept in a laudry mat 3days.my i have more things to say but i;ll stop here reading youre site made me cry my cries are silent/ hurting

  • can u help me I am 42 yrs old and I was sexualy abuse more than once by different men at a very young age I don’t know what it is to enjoy sex never had an olgasym trying to get an education cant when I study cant remember what I read please help me

  • I was Sexualy abuse at a very young age by more than one time I don’t know what it is to enjoy sex have bad memory trying to get an education always fail what ever I study don’t remember please help me and I sleep with many different men to see if I can enjoy sex but it never help please help me

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Ashamed,

    If you’re having thoughts that are bothering you, thoughts about an action that you do not want to take then the best and safest course of action is to get help now, when it’s only in your head and you haven’t crossed that line. I know that the thought of seeing a counsellor is scary, but a counsellor is not going to look at you like you’re a sicko. They are not there to judge, they’re there to help. You were abused as a child and it sounds like perhaps you haven’t had a chance to work through what happened to you. A counsellor can help with that. It may be that you have warped thinking about sexuality and relationships because of what happened. If you deal with your own wounds you may find that that helps to correct these unwanted thoughts about this little girl.

    It’s going to take courage to talk to a counsellor, but you can do it. If you’d rather talk to someone online or by phone anonymously RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) has people trained to help. You can contact them at 1 800 656 4673.

  • ashamed. says:

    Okay, so i’m a girl and was molested by my older brother and several other people from ages 4-12 and i’m 14 now. It makes me sick to think people do this to children, but, i’m staring to get thoughts like that. I don’t think of it on purpose, the thoughts just come to me. It is only of one person and she’s only 3. It makes me so upset.. i don’t want to hurt her, or any other child. Whenever i think about it, though, i get aroused. Not in the same way i do with normal things, this is actually more of a “just because you don’t want it” kind of way, if that makes any sense. I don’t want to see a counselor about this because i don’t want to be looked at like a sicko, even though i guess i am.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Simin, Have you ever had a chance to talk to a counsellor about what has happened to you? You’ve been through significant trauma and it’s a lot, too much, to carry on your own. In order to work through the experience and start to heal from it you’re going to need some professional help. Imagine if you’d broken your arm – you wouldn’t expect to be able to fix that on your own, you’d get help. Multiple people have broken your trust and abused your body and you’re going to need help to heal.

    It makes sense that you feel unsafe when a man is attracted to you – look at what your past experience is telling you. A counsellor can help you work through your thoughts, feelings and reactions to those experiences and help you find a way to have safe, healthy relationships with men. It might also be a good idea to talk to the counsellor about your relationship with your Mom. She was not there to protect you when you needed it and it sounds like perhaps she is in denial about what happened to you. If she is not able to support you on your healing journey you might need to establish some new boundaries with her. A counsellor can help with that too.

    If you’re not sure how to get in touch with a counsellor RAINN has a free hotline and online counselling available: 1.800.656.HOPE(4673) https://ohl.rainn.org/online/ (RAINN is the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. They do good work.)

    I don’t know if you have a faith perspective, or if what has happened to you has shaped the way you think about God, but know this: God does love you. There’s an incredible list here of all the things God says about you. Often when someone has been abused their sense of self is severely damaged. If you’ve ever thought that you’re not worth much, read the list. You are a women of incredible value. If you’d like someone to talk to or pray with, we can help.

  • Simin says:

    I was abused by my brother(who’s 3 years elder) at 4 or 5, our neighbour’s son (an adult) at 6, by a guest(who’s was roughly about 15-16)at 4, by my mum’s brother (who was about 20 and knew about one of my old molestations!)at 8. I told my mum about two of these as soon as they happened. She believed me but threatened to kill me and put me in the garbage so I’d be taken away with it if it happens again. I’ve never told her about my brother and I told her about my uncle a few years ago and she laughed as if I was telling her a joke. My uncle knew about what has happened with the neighbor. That is what makes it sicker and more cruel. He used to kiss me on the lips and ask me to touch his tongue with mine and I was disgusted and hated myself but when you’re a kid you think you should do what an elder tells you to. About my brother I felt bad but I thought we were playing and to this day I think maybe he didn’t know what he was doing. He never talks about it. I’m not sure if he remembers or thinks I can’t remember.

    Anyway now I will be 31 soon and I have not dated anyone. I have never had sex. Never even been kissed. Because I cannot. I hate myself if I desire someone. I cannot be a woman; wear sexy clothes, be charming, flirt… I feel unsafe as soon as I feel a guy is attracted to me. I feel so disgusted with myself after every masturbation.

    My mother expects me to get married and have children. I cannot tell her why I do not want that because she does not really care.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Confused2809, what a terrible thing to be treated like that by someone you trust. Have you talked to anyone about what he did to you?

  • Confused2809 says:

    Hi,

    Reading others’ stories is distressing but makes me feel like I’m not alone.
    I was sexually abused by a doctor when I was 4 years old. He took me inside and asked my parents to wait outside while he removed my plaster (my hand was fractured). I cried at first but then he told me he would hurt me a lot more if I uttered another word or alternatively I could stay quiet and it would all be over soon. While leaving, he threatened saying he knows where I live and would be happy to harm my sister too if I said anything to anyone. I don’t remember how I mustered enough courage to block out that memory completely. I managed to grow up as a completely healthy happy kid. Nobody could have looked at me and guessed what I had been through at that tender an age.

    But things changed. In August last year, I was spending the night at a friend’s place. I had known him for a little over one and a half years. He was introduced to me by my best friends and was close to all of us. He and I had gotten exceptionally close off late and become a person I loved and trusted blindly, almost like my family. That night, around 8 of us stayed at his place. We had a small argument over something very mundane early in the night. He started drinking heavily. I retired to my room early while everyone else was chatting and drinking out in the hall. Later, he came to my room and started being abusive. I tried to quieten him down and put him to bed. He wouldn’t listen and got physically violent. I retaliated and called a cab service to go back home. He lost his cool at that, threw my phone out of my hand and choked me till I was breathless and couldn’t speak. And then I don’t know what overcame him, he raped me. He knew of my past and I kept crying begging him to stop, getting flashes from my childhood. I trusted him more than myself and even he didn’t stop. I just remember passing out from the pain.

    Since then, I haven’t been the same. What I had managed to block out with such ease came back with a vengeance. I tremble anytime someone touches me even innocently. I shudder at constrained spaces. I get nightmares and flashes constantly. I can’t even dream of having a normal sex life with my boyfriend. I don’t know what to do. When it had happened the first time, i let it go because it was a stranger and I had paid a price to ensure it never happens again (my silence). But to have someone I loved and trusted that much and worst of all who knew of my past doing what he did has broken me.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Confused, I can imagine this is a big blow to you and your husband. I would not want to speculate on what actually has happened to your sister-in-law, but I do think it is important for your husband to take her allegations seriously. It probably is wise to involve a professional counsellor in this. Having someone guide your husband and his sister through a process of healing will be beneficial in a number of ways: 1) getting to the truth will be healthy for her and for your husband; 2) if your husband did take advantage of his sister it will show genuine remorse if he is the one initiating the search for help; 3) all of this will help your husband learn about his own issues round sex and could help him deal with his addiction to porn.

    So how are you feeling in all of this?

  • Confused says:

    Ok, most people seem to be talking about their past. Well I have a very different need for help and questions. Ok so my husband has a porn addiction. The other day his youngest sister says she needs to talk to me to tell me something because she is worried about our “kids” due any day. But she tells me she has been sexually molested by my husband, and also proceeds to tell me that her older sister was sexually abused by the oldest brother. I asked my husband about this he was literally in tears crying the hardest I have ever seen him cry if he did abuse her he does not remember. But it is weird when she told me this I asked for specific details. She was 6 when this started whichis when she started sleep walking wich would have made my husband 12. But I asked her when this stopped and she said when she was around 14 then agin when he and I started going out. He insisted in the military when he was 18 and was gone from the time she was 12 till he got back and a few months after he got back he meet me and we started going out. The only thing I can think of is that when she was 14 the oldest brother moved out leaving her alone she would have been 14. Then my husband moving back in after getting back from Iraq triggered the molestation and she then associated my husband to that memory. I would like to know if that is possible? Or if my husband could have done something he does not remember it is eating away at him to think he could have done something like this and not remember…he said while he was balling his eyes out I’ve cheated on you so many times what if I did do this to her and don’t remember…I don’t want to be a monster to her and/or to our kids…please help!!!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Em, I am so glad you have found a place to begin telling your story. You are beginning to take back the choice that was robbed from you as a young child. That is good.

    How much older than you is this lady who has taken advantage of your family’s friendship? Do you see her anymore?

    If you would feel more comfortable talking about this in a more private setting you could connect with one of our mentors. They are safe people who will listen to you and help think through healthy steps forward. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor and a mentor will contact you by email.

    Let me pray for you: Dear Father, I pray for this young lady and ask that You would help heal the hurts in her life. Give her wisdom to make good choices and strength to do the hard things. Amen.

  • EmOtIoNoVeRlOaD says:

    Hi I don’t really know where to begin, here goes nothing: The first time was in primary school, I was about 6 years old. Me and 3 other children were told to go outside for some reading with older students. Anyway I needed to go toilet and so one of the older students called Dan* took me to the toilet. I don’t remember all of it but what i do remember is that he started to kissand touch me in places no child should be touched. He also said I was his special girl and that if I told anyoe then they wouldnt understand/believe me. The next time it happened was when I was 7/8. Whenever this person would come over she would take me upstairs shut the door and would begin to kiss me, touch me get me to do things for her. Another time was when I went on a family holiday and i was bored. She said that if I would do somethings for her she would play with me. The reason i never told anyone was that nobody would believe me. Last time anything like that happened was when I was 14 and this family friend was touching me up all throughout the day when we went out. I’m 20 now and this has really wrecked my life

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Confused,

    It took a lot of courage to write out your story. I am so sorry that this happened to you. You said in your comment that you think you probably should have been in therapy but don’t want to risk damaging your parents’ ministry because they help a lot of kids. Why do you think those other kids more important that you? Why do you think it’s more important to protect them than it is to protect you? You’ve experienced something awful and you need help. You shouldn’t have to deal with this alone. You wrote, “I don’t know if it was sexual abuse or not. I don’t know if it was molestation and rape.” From what you’ve written here, YES it was sexual abuse and molestation and rape. I know that those are scary words.

    Are you familiar with a group called RAINN? RAINN is the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. On their page, “Was I raped?” they have three questions to ask yourself:

    1. Are the participants old enough to consent?
    2. Do both people have the capacity to consent?
    3. Did both participants agree to take part?

    In most states, the age of consent is 16 or 18. Below this age a child cannot legally consent to sexual activity so by this definition, yes it was rape. The site also has a common questions section and this one reminded me of your situation:

    I didn’t resist physically – does that mean it isn’t rape?

    People respond to an assault in different ways. Just because you didn’t resist physically doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape — in fact, many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent. Lack of consent can be express (saying “no”) or it can be implied from the circumstances (for example, if you were under the statutory age of consent, or if you had a mental defect, or if you were afraid to object because the perpetrator threatened you with serious physical injury). (Source: RAINN)

    You’re going to need some help. A great place to start is the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE). The hotline is staffed by people trained to deal with victims of sexual assault. They will have dealt with people in your situation before. I know that it is even harder when a family member is involved, but this is about getting you the help and support you need. It’s important. YOU are important.

    There are a whole bunch of resources and ways to get help here.

    You can also use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days. All mentoring is done by email and it’s free and confidential.

    I can only imagine how these experiences have affected the way you see yourself and the way you see God. There’s a list here of all the things God says are true about you. Take a minute and read it. (Or if you prefer you can listen to it here.)

  • Confused says:

    I’ll begin with a little back ground because I think it’s important. My two older brothers and I were placed in a Christian childrens home. We were raised there. The administrators allowed to adopt me at 2 months, but not my brothers. They are the only parents I ever new and the only parents I want.
    I can’t remember when it started exactly. I know it was after 5/6 years old. My brother is a year or two older than me. We started out by playing house. I remember it was in the hay bales. We would make huts and he would want to play mommy and daddy. One day he said mommy and daddy need to lay down so we went to bed. He started touching me and I got up and ran off. It continued though. We had a 15 passenger van. On our way back from evening revival services he would crawl under the seats and touch me from beneath the seats. On family vacations to grandmas house I was always assigned to the back seat of the suburban with him. He didn’t always go, but sometimes he did. He would always try to touch me. I would squeeze my legs together as hard as I could and he would pinch until I released. I eventually would give in. Once I woke to him placing my hand on his penis. My youngest sister who was 2/3 at the time wanted to sit back there and mom let us change seats. I was happy, but scared he would do the same to her so I would always look back to make sure she was okay. Eventually sex became involved. I can remember two times like the back of my hand, but it happened more than that. Once is was in our gym. It use to be used for basketball but later became storage space and one of my brothers kept their Harley parked in there. Behind the motorcycle was the first time sex was involved. I remember him telling me to pull my pants down and remember him telling me not to look at him and to keep my eyes closed. Another times was in an old white 15 passenger van that was junk and in the back of the property. All I can remember is him on top of me and me looking at the floorboard and seeing the bottoms of all the seats with the seat belts hanging off the seats. Once we were in one of the buildings and we had just gotton a donation of toys. They placed them in one of the apartments and I had my younger sister who was 4 with me. We were looking through the toys. I heard my brother coming and I ran and hid behind a door. I heard him in the other room asking my sister if he could touch something. I came out from hiding and found her laying on the bed and he was about to take her diaper off. I grabbed her and told him mom wanted him. When I didn’t feel like facing him I would stay in my room. It was my sanctuary and I had a room mate who was in love with him. I figured he wouldn’t come in my room because of her finding out. I was wrong. One night I woke up to him touching me between my legs. If I didn’t have a room mate I don’t think I would have done what I did. I jumped out of bed and he ran after me. I then said if you touch me I’ll scream. He left. My room mate seen it all and I was so ashamed. I told mom the next morning that he had been touching me. I never told her sex was involved and I didn’t tell her it had gone on for years. I had seen mom make people leave because they had consensual sex with someone. After devotion that morning mom had my brother and I stay behind. He was grounded and spanked and that was it. When I was older and better to understand it she said she knew we played doctor and house. She asked a few people about it and they said it was healthy. I feel let down by her in some ways. I feel like something more should have been done to him. I’m confused because part of me liked it and part of me hated it. I don’t know if it was sexual abuse or not. I remember a few months after I told. I wrote a letter to him saying I missed it. I put it in a box on the top of his dresser. After I put it in there I instantly wished I hadn’t. I started having sex with another boy who lived there. I never could really get into it. It happened twice and then I never wanted anything to do with boys. When I was 26 I met an older man and that relationship was strictly about sex and it lasted about 4 months. I’ve sexual fantasies about woman. I always put them aside because I believe it’s wrong. In some ways I think I’m more attracted to them. While I was with the older man I met a woman. It was my first lesbian encounter. She had a partner and they agreed to let me experiment. I liked it…I really did. My mom found out and it about killed her. I hated myself because I gave into that temptation. I told her I believe it was because of my brother and what happened between us. That men scare me and I’m more comfortable with woman. I told her about sex being involved. She cried and said she didn’t know. She said we were always curious and she didn’t know how to keep us from playing house. That she always felt it was willingness in both parties. That is couldn’t have been forced because we/re so close in age. I hate my brother. I use to have to bring him back and forth to work. I always made someone ride with us. I couldn’t stand being alone with him. I hated myself for allowing it to go on and really think I should have been in therapy. I can’t though because it would hurt their ministry and they have a great ministry and help a lot of kids. I don’t know if it was molestation and rape. I know I was ashamed of it and scared of him. I know at age 15 I tried to commit suicide. I took a bottle of acne prescription pills to school. I didn’t want my parents to find me. I took them at school and by the end of second hour I was feeling really sick to my stomach. I could feel the burn at the back of my throat. I ran to the bathroom and I was looking into a toilet bowl full of undigested pills. That was my second attempt and it was then I said God must have a big plan for my life. He won’t let me kill myself. I was always quiet and still am. I don’t like to talk and I don’t like big crowds. I don’t like going anywhere alone, because I have a fear of seeing someone I know and having to talk to them. I’m really sweet though. Probably too sweet. I don’t like to say no and usually do things for people even though I don’t want to. I hold things in until I eventually burst. I’m a very patient person, but I have my moments. I build up walls and I’ve only let a few in. Sometimes my sexual fantasy’s involve my brother and then sometimes I have nightmares about him. I’m ashamed and disgusted with and usually when they start I instantly try to put them out of my mind. I had talked once with someone about this when I was in ministry school. They asked if I had ever thought he might have been molested as a child to. I later found out when he told me that he had been. I don’t feel bad for him. I know I should, but I don’t. I try to have love for him because as a Christian you are to love and not hate. I have no feelings but resentment and hate. He’s in jail and has been for the passed 3 years and I find myself hoping he’s getting the same treatment he showed me. He has two boys who live at the home with my parents. They look just like him and sometimes it’s hard to look at them. I know they are not their father, but it’s still hard.

  • B. Miller B. Miller says:

    Hello One Time,

    Thank you so much for the courage you have shown in sharing your painful experience with your brother before you were old enough to begin school. It is so important to understand, One Time, that what your brother did to you when he pulled you under his blankets and forced you to touch him, as well as touching you, was sexual abuse, and one occasion of being sexually abused can be enough to lead us to block other encounters from our memories. It is also extremely important to understand that the abuse that was perpetrated against you was in no way your fault. You were not old enough to stand up for yourself, or to understand that what was happening to you was not appropriate, and you were definitely too young to resist and stand against your brother.
    In regard to you later being highly sexually responsive as a young child, that is definitely not unusual. When very young children are sexually abused and sexually stimulated, it is not at all unusual for them to then begin responding to others in a sexual manner, for that is their earliest memory of relating to others. That is how, as a very young child, you began to connect the experience of interacting with others you care about and enjoyed being with in relationship: one of your earliest encounters with someone close to you was sexual; you responded sexually because that is our biological wiring; and you naturally connected that in your young mind to how you were to emotionally connect with others you care about and want to share and be with in the future. Sexual and emotional connections became confused, as you were sexually stimulated at a very premature age as the result of sexual abuse.

    One Time, despite the fact that you do not have memories of other occasions of sexual abuse, this occasion in which your teenage brother pulled you under his blanket and forced you to touch him sexually, and in which he also touched you, was in fact, sexual abuse. It is extremely important that you recognize this and that you seek help to understand that your responses in childhood and adulthood have been deeply affected because of this, and possibly other, abusive encounters at a very young age that were in no way your fault. You deserve to be loved and to have peace, happiness, and contentment in your life and in your relationships, and to know that there are people out there who can and will love you with the respect and honour God desires you to know in your life. You are worth the healing that is necessary to work through your painful past, One Time, and you have shown that you most definitely have the courage and strength to seek that healing. If you would like to talk to one of our online mentors about how to move forward with this process, please feel free to do so by filling out the form at the following link, and one of our mentors will respond to you privately and confidentially:

    http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/

    With sincere appreciation for your courage and strength in sharing your experience, as well as continued prayer for you,

    Brenda

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Confused,

    You’re asking some really great questions here. These are hard issues to deal with but you don’t have to deal with them alone. You mentioned that you have suicidal thoughts. If you need someone to talk to you can call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) from anywhere in the USA & Canada to talk to someone right now. We also have mentors available by email. You can use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days. Mentors are not professional counsellors but they can walk with you, pray for you and help direct you to additional resources.

    It sounds like you’re trying to carry this all on your own. It was very brave to reach out and ask for help. Keep doing that. Have you ever had a chance to talk a counsellor or therapist? From what you’re written here it sounds like you might be blaming yourself for what happened, for not doing something to stop it. Buy you need to know: this was not your fault. You were just a child, probably scared and confused. A counsellor can be huge help as you work through what happened and what you can do now to move forward in freedom.

    I don’t know if you have a faith perspective, but in the Bible it says that God came to cleanse us from all unrighteousness – from the things we’ve done and from the things that were done to us. There is so much hope in that. Do you know God? Is there a pastor or priest you would feel comfortable talking to?

  • confused23woman says:

    Recently graduated with my master’s degree at age 23, starting to run my own small business and have a loving family that supports me in everything. I could not be happier? Right?
    The other night, I ask myself, why I am the way I am? I have always been shy, antisocial, mood swings, nightmares, depressed; sad even when good things happen, trust issues, trouble with friend and love relationships et cetera.
    Repressed childhood memories came back. I have cried myself to sleep every night. I do not have a friend that I can share personal things. My family is very supportive but afraid to tell them, because want them to keep thinking that they are good parents that have implemented values and always protected me. I love my family, they are the only ones I know I can count on and don’t want to bring any sadness to them. They have noticed I been down, but they think it’s because of a love relationship that ended a few months ago. It is getting so hard for me to act that I am happy when around them.
    When I was in kindergarten and 1st grade I was sexually abuse by another child. I did not know I was sexually abuse until after recently reading studies and articles about child-on-child sexual abuse. During my childhood I did not know what was going on but I knew it was not normal, I was shameful. During my early teen years, I said to myself, “you didn’t do anything to stop it” “oh, it’s not a big deal” “it’s on the past, enjoy the present, your future lies ahead. Something that happen 18 years ago, that was hidden on my mind until now is not letting me be happy. The past defiantly affects the present and future. I want to get married and be a mother someday, but so afraid that I will not be able to protect my child from bad things. I am not happy with my life, no idea how to deal with it. I feel so alone. I have suicidal thoughts, the only thing that makes me feel at peace and happy is whenever I drink. Why can’t I just put the memory back where it was?

  • One time says:

    It happened one time with my brother that I can remember. He pulled me under his blanket and unzipped his pants then he made me touch him and he cupped me, too. That’s it. That’s all. I don’t recall anything more. I just remember washing my hands after because he told me to. I was not schooling yet. He was in his teens.
    But, I was highly sexed as a child I remember this one time when I was 7 I told my 3 year old nephew to suckle on my nipple. I kept kittens in my skirt. I wanted stimulation THERE. I made my younger sister play a game where we had to rub our chests together. I remember her telling me that she didn’t like the game and I tried to insist that it was fun. I didn’t get at that time why she didn’t like it. All this was when I was 7 or younger. I never actually thought my childhood was amiss in any way. Until I think about it. Was I sexually abused? There was also some weird memories I have of me ripping some papers into squares, wetting them and them putting them on my belly button because I thought that I might get pregnant like that. I don’t know if it I was sexually abused or if it had affected me. But, I have always been a little bit off. I keep to myself. I don’t like being touched but at times I crave connection to the people around me. I am 23 and I have never been in a relationship. I just think of myself as the extreme type of feminist who hates men.

  • Alfred Alfred says:

    Hi, No one believes, I am thrilled that you wrote as you did, for it was therapy for you!
    I know a man, now 82 years old, who has a story much like yours. He was not only abused but also tortured. He has no family support. After working hard all his life, which took his mind off that hurt, he is now again talking about it. Being a skeptic, he is very critical of everyone. People have let him down time and again. Last week I was able to say to him “There is one Person who will never let you down; His name is Jesus.” He changed the subject, but I believe a good seed was sown.
    I like what T. Glenn-Cooke says (on Sept 30): “inviting Jesus – the perfect man, who is fully God – into your heart will not be an instant fix to your life. But, it is the most important step towards healing. Jesus promises to make all things new, and He is waiting to redeem you from the inside out…” I want to encourage you to read all that she says (just 2 entries back, on this blog).
    Those who have abused you have to answer for their sins, and hopefully also find Jesus. Yet you need to find healing, firstly by asking Jesus to fill you with His love. Then, as you have received forgiveness, you will be able to forgive your abusers also. That is when you will find the healing, peace and joy that your heart has been longing for!!! It is amazing how that works!
    Dear Heavenly Father, I lift up “No one believes” for Your blessing. Heal her from the inside-out. Then she will know that in Your eyes she is a beautiful person. May she be able to help others who need Jesus and especially those who need healing to find the peace and joy that she’s got. We pray this in the precious name of Jesus, our intercessor. AMEN.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi No one Believes, I’m sitting here trying to think of something to say in reply to your comment and I’m speechless. I cannot imagine the depth of pain that you have suffered or comprehend the evil that has been done to you. I heard a speaker once talking about God’s forgiveness and how his forgiveness has two parts. The Bible has these big long words for it – propitiation and expiation – and basically what it means is that when we’re forgiven by God, he washes away both the bad things we’ve done and the bad things that have been done TO us.

    Expiation means that even though our hearts are still broken, they are no longer dirty. No matter what we have been subjected to, God will clean it up if we ask him to. It means that no matter what we can come to God and he will make us clean and whole, loved and lovely. This part of forgiveness is like reconstructive surgery for the soul. It takes the scars away. I don’t know if you know God, but if want to get to know him you can read more about how to do that here.

    Have you been able to go to a counsellor recently? You’ve been through a lot, you must be an incredibly strong person to have survived it. But working through it, trying to put yourself back together is going to take a lot of work and having the support of someone who is on your side can be an enormous help. I know that you’ve tried before, could you try again? If you’d like to talk to someone privately, we have mentors available all the time. You can use this form to request a mentor and you’ll hear back from them by email, usually within a couple of days.

  • No one believes says:

    My story started at age 4 ( well that’s as early as I remember).my family was all at another families house for a holiday. ( I think xmas cant remember) My grandmother,aunt,and mother were all sitting in the kitchen talking. They sent all us kids into a bedroom to goto bed. There was a lot of us. about 4 young girls and same number in older boys. The oldest bot was about 12 then. He began touching me and doing things to me. I got up and went into the kitchen and told in detail what my uncle had been doing to me. My grandmother,aunt,and mother all busted my butt and sent me right back in there. So pretty much until I was 13 this never ended. I tried telling teachers and anyone who would listen but my family was one step ahead everytime by marking me a troubled child. a trouble making child. I was never believed. My mother had a b/f when I was 13 who two weeks before xmas my mother gave him permission to rape me as a xmas gift from her to him. And he did do just that. This time a neighbor stepped in. and of course my family acted as if they never would have thought this guy was like that and acted as if they cared. But that was only a show for authoriies. I attemped to tell the authorizes that my mother was in on it to and again she was able to convince everyone I am just in shock by the trama of the rape and have been causing issues in the family for years,and guess what they believed her.But the one good thing that came out of the rape was the boys in the family ( and when I say boys I mean 3 that had been molesting me since I was 4) had ended. One of them tried one time after and I told them I would go straight to the police. it never happened to me again.
    Years later these same boys had kids. as I did. I wanted to have a family in my life yet at the same time I did not want my kids around those men and had great concern for the girls these men had. I attempted to write a aunt of mine that I thought was very understanding and believed in truth and justice as well. I told her what had happened to me all those years and that it needed to be addressed. Well she thenb called every man in our family and asked them if they molested me and that I was causing trouble again. I received death threats after that. Now that was over 20 years ago and to this day I am still the outsider,who has no family. I have discovered that I wasn’t the only female who was molested and raped. there was about 4 others that I know of. when I asked them why they never came forward when I was trying to get help,they all said the same thing. They didn’t want to get treated they way I get treated.They were to afraid after seeing what I went thru trying to get help. yet even today if you ask them infront of another family member about the child abuse they will deny it,but behind close doors they admit it happened. My family looks like the perfect middle class family. They act as if they have no issues and all is great. Yet I have lived a nightmare my entire life. I have been outcast for years. I live in extreme mental and physical disabilities now. I have never had a single person to stand by me nor support me. I haven’t been able to develop any good relationships with a man. I seem to attract abusive ones. I have attemped to raise my 2 kids alone. I never physically abused my kids as I was however do to my own mental issues they have now as adults issues as well. I used my kids as my therapist. I told them all about my childhood when they were young. I also have suscidal tendencies and would show that infront of them all the time. I would drink and then cry on their shoulders when they were as young as 12. So yes I caused them issues as well. At this point in my life I have pretty much given up completely. I don’t go anywhere,i don’t even change clothes for days. I just sit waiting to die. I truly do not believe I will ever see any kind of happiness in my life so why try. I tried to make a better life many times only to have it all crumble over and over again. a lot of people say just dust your boots off and get back on the horse. Well after 44 years of hell I think the horse is broke down.I have never even had one try friend. I have had people say they r only to rob or use me in some way or another. I don’t socialize at all. Infact I haven’t been on a date in now 5 years. I don’t even goto a grocery store. I am not asking for anyones pity. I am just letting people know that there is people out there that tried to get help and was refused it everytime. So not only do you get abused but also a kick in the face by our authorities,teachers,and everyone else I tried to tell. So it makes very hard to believe that anyone will ever care at all.

  • Tia Glenn-Cooke T. Glenn-Cooke says:

    Dear Sad&Lonely,
    I want to thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story here. I am so proud of you for standing up for yourself and working hard to find someone to support and assist you. It can be so difficult to reach out for help when it feels like your family is against you, and I think it must have taken a lot of courage for you to do that.
    There’s no question: being sexually abused can definitely affect your perception of sex, and your own sexuality. When you have been used as a tool for another person’s pleasure it can be difficult to regain or just to acquire a healthy understanding of what sex is really about. It’s entirely natural in those situations to see sex as a means to an end, as a way to win favour from people or even just instinctively as a way to interact with them.
    I would say that the feelings you have are normal when you’ve experienced abuse, not part of who you are meant to be. This is NOT your nature, and I want you to know that healing is possible. But you won’t experience healing by continuing to live the life you are right now, even if it seems to make sense in the moment.
    I have experienced abuse in the past too, and can see now that I have an extremely difficult time relating to men romantically. I know that shallow relationships are not what I am made for, but it’s difficult for me to be vulnerable and trust another person – especially a man – with my heart or my body. The good news though, is that Jesus brings Good News to the broken! And that good news is illustrated beautifully in this story. As much as we may condemn ourselves, or be condemned by society, Jesus has come to offer us forgiveness. Romans 8:1-2 says “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
    Sad&Lonely, inviting Jesus – the perfect man, who is fully God – into your heart will not be an instant fix to your life. But, it is the most important step towards healing. Jesus promises to make all things new, and He is waiting to redeem you from the inside out…all you need to do is receive His saving Gospel. He created you to love and to be loved, and right now you are not living in the fullness of His love. If you want to know perfect love, all you need to do is acknowledge your sin…the ways that you have fallen short and chosen what you know is wrong. Then, be assured that Jesus Christ lived and died to pay the consequences of your sin. He died so that you wouldn’t have to, so rejoice! He rose from the dead to invite you into eternal life with Him! Finally, ask Jesus to direct your life from now on. Sad&Lonely, the void you feel is part of our sinful nature, and there’s nothing on earth that can fill it. We were made for God, and that void in our hearts can only be filled by Him. Does this sound like something you want? If it does, you can pray this prayer or use your own words to say the same thing. God IS listening when you pray.
    Lord Jesus, I feel empty. I have tried to fill my life with many things. I have hurt others and I have hurt You with my words and actions, and I’m sorry. I believe that You died on the cross to spare me from the consequences I deserve. Thank You for Your sacrifice. I believe that You rose from the dead into eternal life and I want to live it with You. I know You want to heal me and forgive me the way you forgave the adulterous woman in front of the Pharisees who humiliated her. I want you to take control of my life, because I know that only You will fill the emptiness in my heart. Amen.
    It can be difficult to go through this healing process alone, and I highly recommend that you seek out a counselor in your area. In the meantime, there is an online mentor who would love to talk to and pray for you here.
    I’ll be praying for you as you go through this, I hope you aren’t “Sad&Lonely” much longer.

  • Sad&Lonely says:

    Hello everyone. I was molested by my sister’s dad from approx age 13-17, I am 20 now. He would do things like masturbate in front of me while I was in bed, he would rub my vagina while I was in bed with my younger sister, his biological daughter. I felt disgusted and scared but apart me of me wanted to tell but I didn’t want the drama that came with exposing my sister’s dad for his perverted behavior. My mother worked nights and it got to the point I would sneak out at nights. Well one day she found out I snuck out and she beat the hell out of me. I remember screaming, telling her he used to molest me. She didn’t believe me. My own mother didn’t me. I went to school the next day and told me beat friend, teacher and eventually my dad. The outcome was a series of social workers, my mother was going to have her nursing license revoked my younger sister about 5 had to live with her grandmother. It was so much going on my mother told me I betrayed her and pleaded with me to tell my lawyer I had lied about the whole thing.
    I’ve never been the type to make myself out to be the victim but as I am getting older I start to wonder how these events have subconsciously affected my sexuality and adulthood. I am promiscuous resorting to men to feel wanted and loved. I have sex often to please whoever I am with at the time rather than for my own sexual pleasures. Then after I feel used and unwanted so I go on to the next man to fill the void. I have tried prostituting And went to jail behind it. Sex to me is sex more like a chore or reward for someone else and I often have no emotions or feelings behind it . I wonder if this stems from being molested or just in my nAture. To this day my mom still lives with the man and I see him on a constant basis. I am a happy person but when I recall these memories I feel upset, sad and lonely. I am not really asking for help but it feels kind of therapeutic to anonymously discuss.

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