Childhood navigating not knowing if i am traumatized but having Symptoms that scare me

~Lea~

New Here
Okay so i dont want to be one more person on here to be asking if anything "happened to them" in their childhood and they just don't remember. Please feel free to ignore my post if you think this intrudes the space of traumatized people.

I know that it isn't too healthy for me to be wondering "if something (sexualized) happened " to me when I was a kid. I know that you can't tell me that and maybe I will also never be able to answer that myself. And I know that if I knew I would probably feel more shitty than before and my mental health would definitely get worse again. And it feels wrong to even think about this, because there is no evidence anything happened and I grew up in a mainly healthy environment.
But there are some things in my life that I cannot stop thinking about.
At this point I accepted already that I'll never know, and that it is okay for me to have these (to me very strange) symptoms, even though there is (probably) not one single incident that is "the reason". Because sometimes I think that maybe I am looking for a traumatic incident to give these scary and shameful symptoms a "valid reason".

So the background how I got to this question: I have been in hospital, aged 23, treated for really bad depression (and have apparently been depressed since my teens), but neither psychotherapy or meds helped me a lot. So they thought we'll maybe it's borderline too and not depression on its own. I do feel a liitle bit better now after almkst half a year in institutions, BUT here is the thing: I don't know where the depression or the borderline might coming from. I have some small things, but nothing makes total sense yet. I have seen 3 therapists regularly in the past year and tbh they were all kinda "spooked" or at least a little helpless with how to help me. They see that I am very reflected, do a lot of work in therapy especially behavioural therapy etc.
But even if I manage the depression a little, other symptoms come up (panic, weird body sensations, feeling like I'm drunk all the time (??)) and usually my body just shuts me down again. I have had struggles with stomach problems all my life. Or I get the flu, or just some other feeling of sickness that has me wondering if my body is not ready to be healthy yet even when my mind is.
So we have this cycle of psychosomatic symptoms keeping me in the depression loop. And also when I can finally relax with PMR or Imaginations l, my body hurts everywhere. Unspecific but a lot, like burning bones. And this is repeatedly, not just once.
This is one point where a therapist has first said the word trauma, because apparently that is common (so he said) for people with trauma. But we decided to " accept that it is there without a clear reason" .
Another person who has asked me "if anything happened " to me is my mom. And maybe that is because she just looks for a reason so it is not her fault. Still wanted to mention it.
And finally a lot of people i met in health institutions. Stuff like " oh hey that sounds like that traumatized friend of mine " "they'll dig something.up eventually. There always is a reason for depression and stuff".

Alright now finally more specific synptoms or things i am wondering about. Again The pain in the body when relaxing. Also pain during sex with my ex bf (my only sexual partner so far). I already found out that this was a way of hurting myself, that i would do it although I knew it would hurt me physically but sometimes also mentally (crying afterwards, shame, disgust towards him). And talking about disgust.. this got the hold of me and I felt that a lot about him the longer we were sleeping together. But also in a strange way being disgusted by someone (men) makes me want to make out with them. I have not understood this part yet. Maybe it's the lack of being able to communicate them to give me space? So i just go this way instead?
Then next in line is *tadaa* also common on here, masturbating as a child. I don't know when exactly it started because i have no real overview of my life before maybe 10 years, but almost none before 6 or 7. Not necessarily uncommon but I have a twin who still remembers all of this time and all I know is from stories? (And all the therapists looked the same type like oh wait this is interesting when I told this) Okay back to the mast. I know that's common even for young children. And I can truly accept that. But this got really our of hand, and it was obsessive. Honestly. Like " I cannot count how many times a day - obsessive" even before people, eventhough people told me that it was shameful, because I simply didn't know what I did. (Sad sad parenting and generally all adults failed me in this) And i couldn't cope otherwise. I was also a child with some specific needs (?) Like not eating most foods, same morning ritual that included sitting with my teddy bear in my lap, nail biting, socks had to fit perfectly, no loud chewing around me an so forth. An I would get really angry when my needs weren't met (this is kinda where I can see where the borderline might started to have developed a bit). And some of this shows that maybe I just needed a lot of bodycentered stimuli. And maybe I found that in this unknowingly sexual way. I won't know.

Maybe this experience of people saying this way of self regulation was shameful is the core of this all already. Nobody asked why a child did this (and in this specific case) significant behaviour. (Again I know it is normal for kids but this affected my life and functioning A LOT)

Now thinking about these topics, I was also able to see some things I tried to ignore before. Like that when I get anxious, the tingling feeling is not in my hands or else but between my legs. Every time. It actually scares me. Also sometimes it is not a tingle, but rather feels like a finger running on the outside. I don't know if that would classify as a body memorie, or maybe it is also linked to my copeing mechanisms in childhood?

Okay this is getting out of hand but I guess just writing it all down will help me accept all if this even more even.if there are no answers.

I also know that there are specific triggers during sex. like when my bf put his hand on my head or forehead I would sorta freak. Same with his genitals touching mine without actual jntercourse .Also him getting to close over me, or him stopping eyecontact would make me feel strange and I had a need of getting away. But all of this can be the need fkr control or simply thought through society at least in my eyes (rape scenes in film, etc). Which actually make me feel strange when I see or hear this type of content. Not aroused but maybe only my genitalia are? This also makes me.feel very very weird bc at the same time they make me feel scared.

Last topic now I promise. I did this inner child imagination with my therapist, and several at home after that.( And I don't know if this is a scientific method? ) But all that happened was that my child-me didn't want to talk to me. Was angry or upset. I could not hug it and touching it later on in an imagination was a really really uncomfortable feeling. The first imagination ended with a black storm that was scary to me. The ones after that ended with my brain not being able to concentrate and just falling asleep or thinking of something else, not remembering what it was when the imagination ended. And as well the burning bones body pain.
Also I don't know how much I can believe these mili seconds of scenes I saw in this, since at that time I was already researching some of my symptoms and thinking if there might be a traumatized part in me. So I keep thinking that my brain just made them up?

Okay so these are a lot if points, and really confusing.
I am not sure what I wish from posting this. I know you cannot answer me what all this means. But maybe some of you have similar experiences. And really I just want to be heard and want to be taken seriously with the feelings I have regarding all this. I guess thank you for listening to me at all:) and i hope i am not intruding this Space for people with trauma. I can imagine that actually being traumatized must be so much worse than me having this thought in my mind "what if", I just had to take it some place so I woulnt be alone with it. I keep thinking of seeing a specialized therapist for sexuality or trauma, but I just feel like it is not my place since there is no trauma I can find exept the shame maybe.
Thank you for reading and having this safe space online

M.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
I think that you wanting to seek out a trauma therapist is a good idea. They can at least help you to answer questions and maybe pick up on things other therapists have missed.

There were things that I couldn't remember, some are still buried so deep that haven't surfaced. But the body doesn't lie. It may confuse us, but it doesn't lie.

You aren't taking up space. You want to be heard and validated. Maybe others will come on and give you more specific answers. But I did hear you. You do deserve to have answers.

Hope you find the answers to your questions.
 

Renly

MyPTSD Pro
I agree with @ladee on this one. Sitting with you as you explore this. I hope writing it out helped!

For me, I have a whole lot of sexual trauma *starting* in my teens that continued throughout my early adulthood, but I have many similar feelings about my childhood…I just cannot remember or definitively say. I have an older sibling who also has suspicions that something happened (and we both struggle with mental illness), but we both just don’t know.

It sucks. But it is also a gift. If it happened, your brain spared your mind. Maybe it’ll come back, maybe not.

But, the body does not lie. EMDR has been helping me tons with my trauma. Have you explored EMDR at all? You can use EMDR without actual memories, just focus on body sensations and see where it goes.

Definitely think seeking out a trauma therapist is a good idea. You deserve to feel better. It’s hard not to “compare trauma” especially if you can’t remember, but keep listening to your what your body has to say. There is so much healing in doing just that.
 
P

Paula

A trauma therapist specializing in EMDR would help you . It is a therapy not for the faint of heart,but with the right therapist,your healing can take place,with alot of work on your part. Do it,you're worth it
 

~Lea~

New Here
I think that you wanting to seek out a trauma therapist is a good idea. They can at least help you to answer questions and maybe pick up on things other therapists have missed.

There were things that I couldn't remember, some are still buried so deep that haven't surfaced. But the body doesn't lie. It may confuse us, but it doesn't lie.

You aren't taking up space. You want to be heard and validated. Maybe others will come on and give you more specific answers. But I did hear you. You do deserve to have answers.

Hope you find the answers to your questions.
Thank you for your kind words,
I agree with @ladee on this one. Sitting with you as you explore this. I hope writing it out helped!

For me, I have a whole lot of sexual trauma *starting* in my teens that continued throughout my early adulthood, but I have many similar feelings about my childhood…I just cannot remember or definitively say. I have an older sibling who also has suspicions that something happened (and we both struggle with mental illness), but we both just don’t know.

It sucks. But it is also a gift. If it happened, your brain spared your mind. Maybe it’ll come back, maybe not.

But, the body does not lie. EMDR has been helping me tons with my trauma. Have you explored EMDR at all? You can use EMDR without actual memories, just focus on body sensations and see where it goes.

Definitely think seeking out a trauma therapist is a good idea. You deserve to feel better. It’s hard not to “compare trauma” especially if you can’t remember, but keep listening to your what your body has to say. There is so much healing in doing just that.
Thank you so much for being with me and sharing your experience. You made me feel seen and now I feel safer and it helps me be more compassionate with myself :)
It is interesting how you too have a family member suggesting there might be something. Makes me wonder if I should ask my twin about this topic or maybe leave him out of there to protect him? No pressure to answer on this, but if you wanted to talk about how you feel about talking to your sibling, I'd be here to listen. Again you do not have to say anything to this.

Thank you for the emdr tip. I haven't done or considered this since accepting these body sensations as something reacuring is quite new for me. I also don't know if someone will do it with me if there is no trauma/ptsd diagnosed? But maybe I'll get myself to call some people on this :)

*thank you for your kind words @ladee . I felt heard and truly seen and supported, which means a lot to me. I will try to be listening to my body even if it is confusing as you said.
I guess you also put into words what I would hope from a specialized therapist! For them to pick something up, connect some dots that others could not really talk to me about because they didn't know either.
I'll keep looking for answers, reading others stories here makes me validate all these feelings and sensations more, maybe this helps already
 

Starfire

Confident
Okay so i dont want to be one more person on here to be asking if anything "happened to them" in their childhood and they just don't remember. Please feel free to ignore my post if you think this intrudes the space of traumatized people.

I know that it isn't too healthy for me to be wondering "if something (sexualized) happened " to me when I was a kid. I know that you can't tell me that and maybe I will also never be able to answer that myself. And I know that if I knew I would probably feel more shitty than before and my mental health would definitely get worse again. And it feels wrong to even think about this, because there is no evidence anything happened and I grew up in a mainly healthy environment.
But there are some things in my life that I cannot stop thinking about.
At this point I accepted already that I'll never know, and that it is okay for me to have these (to me very strange) symptoms, even though there is (probably) not one single incident that is "the reason". Because sometimes I think that maybe I am looking for a traumatic incident to give these scary and shameful symptoms a "valid reason".

So the background how I got to this question: I have been in hospital, aged 23, treated for really bad depression (and have apparently been depressed since my teens), but neither psychotherapy or meds helped me a lot. So they thought we'll maybe it's borderline too and not depression on its own. I do feel a liitle bit better now after almkst half a year in institutions, BUT here is the thing: I don't know where the depression or the borderline might coming from. I have some small things, but nothing makes total sense yet. I have seen 3 therapists regularly in the past year and tbh they were all kinda "spooked" or at least a little helpless with how to help me. They see that I am very reflected, do a lot of work in therapy especially behavioural therapy etc.
But even if I manage the depression a little, other symptoms come up (panic, weird body sensations, feeling like I'm drunk all the time (??)) and usually my body just shuts me down again. I have had struggles with stomach problems all my life. Or I get the flu, or just some other feeling of sickness that has me wondering if my body is not ready to be healthy yet even when my mind is.
So we have this cycle of psychosomatic symptoms keeping me in the depression loop. And also when I can finally relax with PMR or Imaginations l, my body hurts everywhere. Unspecific but a lot, like burning bones. And this is repeatedly, not just once.
This is one point where a therapist has first said the word trauma, because apparently that is common (so he said) for people with trauma. But we decided to " accept that it is there without a clear reason" .
Another person who has asked me "if anything happened " to me is my mom. And maybe that is because she just looks for a reason so it is not her fault. Still wanted to mention it.
And finally a lot of people i met in health institutions. Stuff like " oh hey that sounds like that traumatized friend of mine " "they'll dig something.up eventually. There always is a reason for depression and stuff".

Alright now finally more specific synptoms or things i am wondering about. Again The pain in the body when relaxing. Also pain during sex with my ex bf (my only sexual partner so far). I already found out that this was a way of hurting myself, that i would do it although I knew it would hurt me physically but sometimes also mentally (crying afterwards, shame, disgust towards him). And talking about disgust.. this got the hold of me and I felt that a lot about him the longer we were sleeping together. But also in a strange way being disgusted by someone (men) makes me want to make out with them. I have not understood this part yet. Maybe it's the lack of being able to communicate them to give me space? So i just go this way instead?
Then next in line is *tadaa* also common on here, masturbating as a child. I don't know when exactly it started because i have no real overview of my life before maybe 10 years, but almost none before 6 or 7. Not necessarily uncommon but I have a twin who still remembers all of this time and all I know is from stories? (And all the therapists looked the same type like oh wait this is interesting when I told this) Okay back to the mast. I know that's common even for young children. And I can truly accept that. But this got really our of hand, and it was obsessive. Honestly. Like " I cannot count how many times a day - obsessive" even before people, eventhough people told me that it was shameful, because I simply didn't know what I did. (Sad sad parenting and generally all adults failed me in this) And i couldn't cope otherwise. I was also a child with some specific needs (?) Like not eating most foods, same morning ritual that included sitting with my teddy bear in my lap, nail biting, socks had to fit perfectly, no loud chewing around me an so forth. An I would get really angry when my needs weren't met (this is kinda where I can see where the borderline might started to have developed a bit). And some of this shows that maybe I just needed a lot of bodycentered stimuli. And maybe I found that in this unknowingly sexual way. I won't know.

Maybe this experience of people saying this way of self regulation was shameful is the core of this all already. Nobody asked why a child did this (and in this specific case) significant behaviour. (Again I know it is normal for kids but this affected my life and functioning A LOT)

Now thinking about these topics, I was also able to see some things I tried to ignore before. Like that when I get anxious, the tingling feeling is not in my hands or else but between my legs. Every time. It actually scares me. Also sometimes it is not a tingle, but rather feels like a finger running on the outside. I don't know if that would classify as a body memorie, or maybe it is also linked to my copeing mechanisms in childhood?

Okay this is getting out of hand but I guess just writing it all down will help me accept all if this even more even.if there are no answers.

I also know that there are specific triggers during sex. like when my bf put his hand on my head or forehead I would sorta freak. Same with his genitals touching mine without actual jntercourse .Also him getting to close over me, or him stopping eyecontact would make me feel strange and I had a need of getting away. But all of this can be the need fkr control or simply thought through society at least in my eyes (rape scenes in film, etc). Which actually make me feel strange when I see or hear this type of content. Not aroused but maybe only my genitalia are? This also makes me.feel very very weird bc at the same time they make me feel scared.

Last topic now I promise. I did this inner child imagination with my therapist, and several at home after that.( And I don't know if this is a scientific method? ) But all that happened was that my child-me didn't want to talk to me. Was angry or upset. I could not hug it and touching it later on in an imagination was a really really uncomfortable feeling. The first imagination ended with a black storm that was scary to me. The ones after that ended with my brain not being able to concentrate and just falling asleep or thinking of something else, not remembering what it was when the imagination ended. And as well the burning bones body pain.
Also I don't know how much I can believe these mili seconds of scenes I saw in this, since at that time I was already researching some of my symptoms and thinking if there might be a traumatized part in me. So I keep thinking that my brain just made them up?

Okay so these are a lot if points, and really confusing.
I am not sure what I wish from posting this. I know you cannot answer me what all this means. But maybe some of you have similar experiences. And really I just want to be heard and want to be taken seriously with the feelings I have regarding all this. I guess thank you for listening to me at all:) and i hope i am not intruding this Space for people with trauma. I can imagine that actually being traumatized must be so much worse than me having this thought in my mind "what if", I just had to take it some place so I woulnt be alone with it. I keep thinking of seeing a specialized therapist for sexuality or trauma, but I just feel like it is not my place since there is no trauma I can find exept the shame maybe.
Thank you for reading and having this safe space online

M.
Respect your feelings. It would be nice to say x happened therefore y resulted and here's how to fix it. I wanted the last one so badly. Worked for it for years. Then appeared a (trauma) therapist who didn't seem to care much about the past. He said let's focus on making your life now better and happier. Of course the past fed into understanding and accomplishing that. But the focus was different. As I look back, gaining control of the present helped me be stronger dealing with the past. Still in therapy. Taking control of today isn't easy for me either.

Hang in there. Trust yourself. Please keep posting.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
You described how I felt for years. I had no solid memories, but symptoms of child sexual abuse. I went to therapy for chronic pain, and the therapist happened to be a trauma therapist. Through therapy, flashbacks, talking to my brother it all came rushing back. Lots and lots of abuse. I had wiped it out and remembered nothing. I still have problems remembering - I can feel my mind veering away from memories before I see them.

I also concur with the opinion that a trauma therapist can help. This website can help too, I think it's as valuable as therapy, so welcome. I hope to see you around the boards.
 

9eisios

New Here
I relate to much of this. Giving support and also saving this thread. I'm also uncertain of a singularly traumatic event, but I have these physical-mental phantoms that persist for seemingly little reason. I feel like I'm making it up for the inability to source them, but I certainly don't function as a being with a coherent identity should. I just want to be myself, but I profoundly and involuntarily change myself every day, every other moment. Thank you for sharing.
 

Renly

MyPTSD Pro
Makes me wonder if I should ask my twin about this topic or maybe leave him out of there to protect him? No pressure to answer on this, but if you wanted to talk about how you feel about talking to your sibling, I'd be here to listen. Again you do not have to say anything to this.
TBH, my sibling is older and always brought it up to me and I didn’t handle it too well initially. The things that bothered my sibling the most were some sexual things that we did as kids - the memories were super distressing to my sibling and they wanted to know if I remembered what we did and how could we know about those kind of sexual behaviors (seemed more than just innocent kids exploring in normal childhood sex play). It was just too overwhelming and embarrassing so I played dumb (which now I feel bad about). But we did talk about if we were molested some possibilities of where and with whom it could have happened. I am planning to revisit the conversation with my sibling at some point now that I’m in a better place being in therapy. If you do decide to talk to your twin, just be prepared for anything. Who knows the reaction you will receive - could be a positive experience, but it could also be negative. It’s a difficult conversation. Hope that helps a little.
 

MnM

Confident
Definitely second/third/seventh the recommendation for EMDR. If you're able to find a trauma informed hypnotherapist, they might be able to pull something out of the corners of your brain? A neurofeedback therapist could do a QEEG and see where your memory may be blocked and walk you through processing, maybe even without having to remember the possible event(s)?

You're working it out well - tough stuff for sure, and ridiculously hard when you can't work on it cuz you don't/can't even remember and don't know!
 

MnM

Confident
Just gonna throw in here: a 'trauma informed' hypnotherapist is a hypnotherapist who knows not to work with this kind of trauma patient.
Depends what they're hypnotizing for .. they wouldn't have to ask the direct question. Obviously triggering is a bad idea.
 
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