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memories of sexual abuse


notmary
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I am sorry if this thread upsets anyone, but I don't know where else to put it. I have had vague strange images involving sexual acts for many years. It never made any sense to me and I was pretty sure that I was just a whore who would think of strange things like this. I have been in therapy for over a year now. I went in for severe depression and anxiety. During the course of therapy, I have started having many more, and much more vivid flashes of things in my mind. I think that maybe I was sexually abused... it is too hard to even say more than that.

My question is, do these images ever go away? Is there a way to get rid of them? I don't want to see this in my head and I don't want to be almost paralyzed by them. HOw can I even be sure that it is real?

to me it still seems like it would be better if I am just some sort of sexual sicko who imagines this stuff than to have it be real. I just want it to go away.

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Hi Notmary, that's a tough one and I'm sure that's it's not easy to have these things bubble up to the surface. In reading you post I was thinking, 'would it not be better for her to know that 'someone else' did things to her, than feel that 'she' is the sicko.' If that sounds harsh or offensive to you I'm sorry... there is no malicious intent here.

I lived a rape when I was in Europe as an adolescent. It has never really gone away but the feelings associated to it have. I used to blame myself for having put myself in an unsafe situation in a foreign country, but now I see that I was young and naive and could not imagine that someone would be that selfish and cruel. I see it differently than what I used to when I was young, and I feel no more guilt or shame. Now I see how distorted he was, how selfish and mean he was. My only fault was that I was too young to understand what was going on and feeling too disempowered to fight him (I had been beaten at home). Abuse is shameful for the abuser, not we who are abused. Because we deny it or keep it as a secret within ourselves it often becomes distorted and it comes out in all sorts of bizarre ways, but the bottom line is that we are not responsible for their cruelty.

I suggest that you tell your therapist how you are feeling and let him or her help you along the process....

Edited by Symora
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Thank you for responding. I try so hard to believe that if this happened it wasn't my fault, but I truly don't feel that way. I have a "tape" that runs almost constantly in my head... you're a whore, you are stupid trash, etc... and although I work hard to not think that way it doesn't really help for long.

Part of my difficultiies is that I can't believe that it really happened... I just don't know

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My feeling is that you should talk to your therapist about this. It appears that things are rising up and that's when a professional can be helpful in guiding you through the process of distinguishing between reality and imagination.... I know that I feel unprepared for such a delicate process...;)

This is a time where you should be gentle with yourself, take it easy, don't stress your life out so that things become even more confused. You're going to figure this out, one step at a time ....

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To me, Mary, that doubt is a sign of progress.

Because once you can accept that it might be someone else's voice, you can start to ask yourself whether they're lying.

And yes, it's best to be doing that with your therapist. I'm just throwing out my thoughts, hoping to give you hope.

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I am continuing to work on this with my therapist. I hate talking about these things though. I am ashamed and embarrassed. My two choices are recognizing that I am a sexual sicko who imagines things like this or that I was abused and raped as a 7/8 year old. Neither choice is okay. Either way I lose.

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My feelings are that either way you win. Knowledge is empowerment. Once you know what's going on and why, you can control your choices, you can bring consciousness to the situation and then its transformed. It's when things are happening without you're understanding why that it gets nuts, because you don't understand what is happening to you, its chaotic.

Once you understand the dynamics that are at play, you are empowered to change the pattern, by choice, and that's where therapy is very helpful :D

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