Childhood Dumb question about csa

I understand this concept of accepting and then a feeling

My acceptance of CSA meant that, I had to accept my painful feelings of emotional rejection as well, as the shame inflicted upon me by my father. His behavior of CSA will never be acceptable to me — note the different.

Unfortunately, my father hadn’t the emotional maturity necessary to establish healthy boundaries. None of his relationships were healthy. Underneath it all, he was a very lonely sad man where no amount of child sexual abuse would change that. My mother was actually more neglectful in not helping me.

I also feared my father as being dangerous when I was a child, as I was dependent on him for my safety and survival. Yet, during this time I had to bury this fear along with all of my other emotions. This had been my way of coping with it. My problem inow, is that, I'm still doing it.

As for using psychedelic drugs, I know nothing about that. I’d only taken Valium and antidepressants (which never helped) under my doctor’s care during my 20s and amphetamine (doctor prescribed, bad idea) from age 17 to 19. I never drank at all until age 53 and even then very rarely, during holiday gatherings. The most pleasant feelings I’ve ever experiences were self-induced without drugs — wish that came in a bottle, as it only happens rarely.

@OliveJewel you mentioned tapping into your anger and letting go, yes, painful as that is it’s healing! Anger, fear and sadness they’re all emotions and when one is felt the others will likely follow.

I can’t eat when I’m in a freeze state because my entire focus will be fixated on the immediate threat. I won’t have much body awareness during my freeze. I do however have more awareness and mobility during my dissociation. Yet when frozen I won’t even think to move. It’s not as though, I were paralyzed rather, it’s the actual thought of moving my body that doesn’t occur.
 

katz

MyPTSD Pro
This is the same for me. And I think that my recent episode with headaches and vomiting might actually be body memories from his earliest assaults. Because I hadn’t acknowledged how badly he hurt me until now and I’m crossing my fingers that this was “cracking the big nut”— that all this pain is me releasing very very very old trauma because I accepted it. As a child I would get triggered and vomit. And one of the body memories was him putting his penis on my mouth when I was a couple months old. And me vomiting afterward. Even though I still hear a voice in my head insisting that never happened that voice seems to be clearly his voice. Reminding me of how I merged my ego with his for 39 years. And that is all like burning trash now. Those feelings of being merged with him are garbage that I burn. And it stinks and it’s uncomfortable but I believe that once I get through it I will never return to dismissing or discounting my feelings about the body memories or the confirmed csa event again. I believe I will get stronger but it’s kind of like I was stripped down to a single neuron and I am rebuilding and it is slow and I need a lot of help right now, like an embryo.
I also have a hard time believing myself when something bothers me. I have very vivid memories of "him" saying to me "that doesn't hurt". To this day I still don't react much to being hurt physically. I just say 'ouch" then go on. Yet, inside I'm screaming.

I commend any of you who have gotten past this penis phobia. I don't know if I will ever. After having it pushed into me from so many people and in so many ways.... and then told "that I like it". I don't seem to want to look at or even see a picture of one - forever. :(

I doubt that I will ever look at them in any other way other than as monsters.
 
I commend any of you who have gotten past this penis phobia. I don't know if I will ever. After having it pushed into me from so many people and in so many ways.... and then told "that I like it". I don't seem to want to look at or even see a picture of one - forever. :(

I doubt that I will ever look at them in any other way other than as monsters.

@katz I can’t imagine the depth of your painful memories and suffering from your horrific physical sexual attacks, including the others here suffering with past physical sexual abuse.

None of my past sexual abuse had never been physical. My CSA had never involved any touching nor forcefulness. Yet I apparently carried this anxiety provoking penis phobia from early childhood until age 24 without my full awareness. I only knew my anxieties were extremely high around men yet I didn’t know why.

Only after enduring 4 years of painful, fear provoking talk therapy with my T was I finally able to feel safe enough when alone with him. I was stressed and even on Valium during that time. I would always get diarrhea before my sessions. And I had no body memories nor horrific flashbacks to recall — only my father’s frightening penis exposure at age 4, which I’d blocked from my conscious mind until age 24.

Your past sexual abuse seems so very different from mine. My abuser tried to hide his abuse from my awareness while your abusers apparently hadn’t. Also, my sexual feelings weren’t involved during my CSA — perhaps, only my penis fear at age 4 and beyond. My father had no intentions of provoking my sexual arousal. If he had later orgasmed this he would have done alone in his own privacy.

I’m questioning whether the abuser’s intentions or approach is actually what determines the degree of brutality. Or is it rather, our own sense of self and that violation of, that causes our deepest injury. And in only this way might our sexual abuse injuries be similar.
 

katz

MyPTSD Pro
@katz I can’t imagine the depth of your painful memories and suffering from your horrific physical sexual attacks, including the others here suffering with past physical sexual abuse.

None of my past sexual abuse had never been physical. My CSA had never involved any touching nor forcefulness. Yet I apparently carried this anxiety provoking penis phobia from early childhood until age 24 without my full awareness. I only knew my anxieties were extremely high around men yet I didn’t know why.

Only after enduring 4 years of painful, fear provoking talk therapy with my T was I finally able to feel safe enough when alone with him. I was stressed and even on Valium during that time. I would always get diarrhea before my sessions. And I had no body memories nor horrific flashbacks to recall — only my father’s frightening penis exposure at age 4, which I’d blocked from my conscious mind until age 24.

Your past sexual abuse seems so very different from mine. My abuser tried to hide his abuse from my awareness while your abusers apparently hadn’t. Also, my sexual feelings weren’t involved during my CSA — perhaps, only my penis fear at age 4 and beyond. My father had no intentions of provoking my sexual arousal. If he had later orgasmed this he would have done alone in his own privacy.

I’m questioning whether the abuser’s intentions or approach is actually what determines the degree of brutality. Or is it rather, our own sense of self and that violation of, that causes our deepest injury. And in only this way might our sexual abuse injuries be similar.
Thank you for listening to my note Spinningmytires. I appreciate your note back. I think it is wonderful that you have found a T that you can work with.

I have been going thru T after T for most of my life. The first ones I remember are when I was in early school. The T even talked to my parents after he spoke to me. I wish so much that I could send him a note and tell him that he was talking to the man that was hurting me! (as an adult, I still could. He is still in practice. I looked him up)

When I was in my 20's I went to a woman's shelter because I couldn't afford to pay for any therapy. I went thru a class with a couple of other patients... then the shelter told me that they couldn't help me and told me to go. (so much for battered woman) I cried for hours while I sat in the parking lot.

I grew up learning that no one was going to look out for me - even as a child. So I learned to keep quiet about it and just...endure. Even as an adult and all the years of learning and trying to help myself, I can still feel the little girl inside me that wants so much to be loved unconditionally.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
My abuser tried to hide his abuse from my awareness while your abusers apparently hadn’t.
My abuser hid his sexual abuse from me. It took me 39 years to figure out what was actually happening in my one memory. I never confronted him directly. I told my mom and she asked him away from me if it was true and he said yes. So I guess he didn’t hide it then. I never asked him if he did anything else when I was younger because it didn’t really matter at that point.

the shelter told me that they couldn't help me and told me to go.
This is awful! Before I knew that the csa happened I felt like I was a survivor but had no words. I would try to explain what happened but I didn’t explain it right. I had one T explain to me what “real abuse” was by telling me about another client. And I had another T say what happened to me was “pretty small potatoes”. So I was used to dismissing and discounting. My best explanation for my symptoms was that something was wrong with my brain.

I asked my T why those other T’s would say those things. I thought it was my fault because I couldn’t say it right. T said maybe those other T’s didn’t want to deal with it. I think it might be hard for some T’s when the feelings are there but no story to go with it.
 
I think it is wonderful that you have found a T that you can work with.

I did once have a T who understood my CSA trauma. I saw him once a month for about 12 years until his sudden tragic death. I was still in supportive therapy with him at that time. I badly grieved over his death.

@katz Perhaps you could send your past T a card with a note of appreciation.

My second T retired due illness. I later terminated with the remaining few T I had. I haven’t any T now, as we never seem to get anywhere. I think I confuse them because I don’t trigger anymore but rather dissociate. My rehab doctor seemed to notice my dissociation state during my TBI followup exam with him in 2018. He monitors my BP at rest and my pulse rate was 40+ beats faster than normal. I must assume that my body was then in panic mode yet, I wasn’t consciously aware of it. I’ll sometimes split away from my body feelings in order to cope and I shouldn’t be doing this.

The staff at the womens shelter might have lacked the training necessary to help you any further and this might be why they let you go. I never was in group therapy. I was always told I wasn’t ready.

Talk therapy use to be extremely expensive when my parents paid for my first 12 years of it. They didn’t want me back in therapy again after my first T died so I began paying for it with my savings. My mother kept telling me that I was the sanest member in our family. This was likely true but then, compared to the others this wasn’t saying much. Then too, she seemed unaware or just not concerned about my depression.

Keeping quiet about my CSA wasn’t a problem for me because I thought my home life and parenting were perfectly fine during my childhood. Rather I thought I was the problem. I think it’s fair to say that our abusing parents weren’t there for us emotionally. My parents couldn’t even manage and fullfill their own emotional needs — how were they to recognize their children’s.

My mother to child bonding had greatly suffered due to my early TBI and communication difficulties. I wasn't even crying during my infancy. This early deprivation, lack of affection and reassurance apparently alters the developing child’s brain — something that stays with us throughout our life.
 
My abuser hid his sexual abuse from me. It took me 39 years to figure out what was actually happening in my one memory. I never confronted him directly. I told my mom and she asked him away from me if it was true and he said yes. So I guess he didn’t hide it then.

I should clarify that, when I was age 4, my father hadn’t hidden his intentional penis erection exposure from me at all. I think he actually wanted to see my emotional, fearful reaction. However, he did seem to be trying to hide this CSA from his wife though she apparently knew. She even tried to make excuses for him, telling me that, I’d misinterpreted his sleepwalking in the nude, as my CSA.

Only after a few years of therapy, during my 20s, had I became aware of his sexual abuse towards me which, wasn’t always hidden. I was aware of at least some of it. How else would I have known I’d been sexually abused.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Struggling a lot right now and I wanted to post the same question because I forgot everything so I re-read some responses.

conditioned to this as part of the father's role - bringing discomfort.
Yes, this happened. It was normal to me that the father brought discomfort.
discomfort = normal = love and care.
Yes. I don’t know yet how to stop seeking discomfort. I am aware that I flee from real love and care. I suppose it is “good” that I can see that.

I am glad I am trying to find something helpful for this struggle. Thank you for this website.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I suppose it is “good” that I can see that.
If thinking of it as "good" is too general, you can think of it as helpful, or effective. And it's extremely helpful to your recovery that you can take deep breaths, look at the deeply traumatizing things, and ride out the intense shame and confusion that accompany them. That's a form of exposure therapy, in and of itself.
I don’t know yet how to stop seeking discomfort.
I'm glad to see the "yet" in that sentence. Learning these things, replacing engrained beliefs....takes time. Small steps. You're taking those small steps, they will eventually get you to somewhere new.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Struggling a lot right now and I wanted to post the same question because I forgot everything so I re-read some responses.
Sorry you are struggling. Sounds like you might be disassociating a bit right now with the forgetting? I do that too when things are tough. Natural coping strategy. It is ok to go slow. The question you posed and the things you are working through are really big topics. So you can take it at a pace that feels right.

I am not experiencing that I am taking small steps. I am experiencing that I am stuck. I wonder what my next step will be. I will try the diary.
Being aware is a massive step forward.
Massive. Was for me anyways, seeing as I lived with decades of denial. So awareness is a step forward.
It is such a frustrating process this healing journey.
Someone on here said to me, when I said it was one step forward and two steps back, that there was still that step forward.
So with awareness, comes the thoughts of possibilities of different behaviours or ways of holding things.
 
Top