Childhood Not sure if I was abused


New Here
I was diagnosed with CPTSD/PTSD in therapy and I haven’t been able to discuss some of the things that happened in my childhood with my therapist yet. There are things from my childhood that have always seemed a little strange and bothered me, and I have almost all the symptoms that survivors of childhood emotional/sexual abuse have, but few distinct memories. I know it’s possible to make this stuff up too and my mom has been very good at convincing me that I’m just being crazy, but it still bothers me so I’m hoping to get some outside perspective.

My dad was very alcoholic for most of my life up until I was 18. I never knew what dad I was going to get—happy and stable or raging, throwing things, driving drunk, yelling, making scenes in public etc. My mom always blamed me for my dad’s drinking.

There were weird things that happened, that I knew didn’t happen in normal families. My parents always said they were doing secret medical experiments on me and had a bunch of files on me in the garage. It was meant to be funny because they liked how much it freaked me out. I didn’t really find it funny at all. I was probably 4-9 when that was happening. When I was maybe 6 my dad had rented a scary movie from blockbuster. I looked at the cover with some kind of monster or something on it and proudly told him I wasn’t scared of it. He responded by turning off all the lights in the house (it was dark) and getting my mom and younger sister to join him in each going behind a closed door in our hallway and jiggling the door handles in the pitch darkness until I admitted I was scared. Things like that happened a lot. He would also give me hugs that made me uncomfortable, holding me there for a long time and slowly rubbing my low back/hips even though I was very tense and creeped out by this. He would drive drunk with us in the car a lot and I was scared we were going to crash.

Now for some of the weirder stuff. I know I started masturbating when I was very young, like 4-5 years old, and I would do it multiple times a day. I don’t know why, I just know I did it when I was scared sometimes. I also remember when I was 7 my dad had a family friend over. I took him into my room alone and asked him to “play doctor” with me and take off my clothes. I remember him saying no so that’s good but like…why??? Why was I asking him to do that? Why did I want him to do that?

I have struggled with self harm and suicidal ideation since I was probably around that same age. I had horrible insomnia, nightmares, OCD, and sleep paralysis for awhile too. When I got older the SH got worse and I attempted suicide many times. I am just now taking control of my life and trying to get better, but I am so confused. I keep hearing my moms voice in my head saying I’m making it all up for attention or as an excuse, but I just can’t get past it whatever it is.

I know it’s possible to make this up and recall false memories. What should I do?


New Here
I wish I had something wonderful to provide. I found this site today and noticed that no one has responded to your post.

In a way, I think we are both looking at similar issues - I have decided to call them ambiguous memories.

I was told stories of things that happened to me when I was too young to remember and the family members that told me have passed away. I have no way to validate what I was told, but the memory of what they told me comes up constantly. Then there are direct childhood memories that are weird and also times as a child where I had reoccurring dreams and/or nightmares that a child should not be able to have unless they were exposed to some pretty horrific crap.

I feel that I have been sexualize since before I can remember and experienced additional trauma as an adult. I don't even feel comfortable calling it sexual abuse which makes it even more confusing to me. I am fifty years old and I think I am feeling the magnitude of all of the ambiguous memories and history and realizing I have to unpack some of this crap or I will not find peace.


New Here
It seems your parents were seriously lacking in parenting skills by enjoying scaring you, but keep in mind they might not have been the actual sexual abusers - it is possible you don't remember the actual abuse because it happened when you were an infant, maybe it was just once but it was quite intense, going by your early masturbation and your sexual aggression towards the family member so young. It is possible your mind is trying to fill in gaps in your memories and all of your confusion and emotional distress is your frustration trying to do just that. Make sure you check your therapist's credentials to assure yourself they specialize or at least are experienced sorting through memories.