Forums Abuse, Violence and Bullying Am I repressing a memory of sexual abuse?

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    • #16429

      I feel like I may be just being paranoid, but I thought I would seek advice from varied people with different opinions.

      When I was about 6-8 I had a best friend and I would spend a lot of time at her house. When I was 8 I randomly decided to stop talking to her completely and cut her out of my life. I’ve always blamed that on just being a kid. A few years ago my mother mentioned something about her uncle living with their family for several years, including the years I was friends with that girl. She said that he was put in prison for sexually abusing children. I didn’t remember him at all. At the time I thought nothing much of it.

      Recently I’ve noticed that I’m very strange about sex. I’ve been dating the same guy for over 2 years and always feel dirty, bad, slutty, and sometimes scared after having sex. I recently looked up the symptoms of child abuse/memory repression and I have 16/22 of the symptoms listed. Those include lack of confidence, low self-esteem, strong feelings of inadequacy, inability to trust, problem relationships, sexual dysfunction, panic attacks, phobias, illness, self-harm, sleep disturbances, depression, low risk taking, security seeking, aversion to make noise, and memory blanks.

      I tend to block out bad memories over the past several years of bullying and they only come back when someone reminds me. I wonder if I blocked out a memory of child abuse and was never reminded so I never remembered. I remember having a few dreams over the years of being raped, but usually by someone my age or someone I know, so I don’t know if that would be linked.

      I also remember the first time I started to feel depressed, isolated, alone, and have low self-esteem was when I was about 8. I don’t remember when my panic attacks started, I don’t remember having them but my parents have told me that when I was younger I would sometimes panic because I thought I couldn’t breathe. I’ve always had phobias so I don’t know how much of that could be connected to any sort of child abuse but I do remember my phobias picking up when I was about 8 or 9.

      When I was about 8 or 9 I started wearing sweat pants and tee shirts and cut my hair short. When I was 10 or 11 I started dressing like a boy. I always said I dressed like a boy because I liked boys more than girls and wanted to fit in with them. But why wear sweat pants? Before that I wore dresses and cute girly clothes every day. I wonder if I started wearing non-attractive clothes to be non-sexual.

      I don’t remember when it started, but I get really bad headaches. I started to cough a lot when I was about 10 and doctors don’t know why. I suffer from random aches and pains. Before I started dating my current boyfriend I would often find myself in relationships where the boy would use me for sex/sexual activities.

      I have a memory (memory of a dream maybe?) where somone (my memory says my mom, but it could be anyone) shoved a sock in my mouth. Whenever any type of cloth touches my mouth I get very anxious. My mom definitely never shoved a sock in my mouth, ever. I wonder if my brain just tried to perceive it that way over time?

      Sorry if this is a mess of thoughts…I feel like getting this out there more then anything. But what are your thoughts? Memory repression or paranoia?

    • #18880

      Hi Isabel0595,

      I can hear how desperately you wish to have your questions answered and how confused you’re feeling about these memories and dreams. It sounds as though your friendship ended abruptly as a child and it’s left you with a feeling that there must be an explanation behind what happened. I’d imagine that the story your mom told you about your friend’s uncle only adds to the uncertainty from the past.

      I get the sense that your feelings about having sex with your boyfriend are really upsetting to you — especially since you can’t understand why you’re reacting the way that you are. It sounds as though your relationship with your boyfriend offers no explanation for your feelings so you sense there must be something deeper going on to prompt such a strong reaction. I wonder if your boyfriend is someone what can be a support for you during this uncertain time?

      At youthspace we can’t give advice but are here to support you Isabel0595. It’s very brave of you to share so openly here and I certainly appreciate you taking this risk to reach out. I hope you’ll continue to share how you’re doing with us as you process your thoughts and feelings.

      <3 The Support Team

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