It's taken me a couple of months to actually look into a community like this, and then a bit longer to even join. I'm hoping I can find a piece of myself here that I've been looking for and have been unable to find on my own. First I should introduce myself. I'm Su, I'm 32, married and a mother to three small children (6, 4 and 2). I was sexually abused between the ages of 4 and 9 (approx) by two seperate family members, neither aware of the other's mirrored actions. This abuse was never violent, but always hurtful. I've spent years working through this and looking back I can see how it effected my life in so many ways.
First know that I've never sought counseling, have never told my Mother, never told my friends. The only person I told was my husband, many years ago, and we've never discussed it again. Not that I think he wouldn't, but we were both so young at the time he could have easily chalked it up to teenage angst and an overactive imagination. Regardless, I've never chosen to bring it up again and he probably doesn't remember, 14 years and a reckless lifestyle can do that to you. Know that I do not blame my husband for not actively pursuing more information...we were young and I was not very forthcoming and now I'm currently chosing to not bring it up again.
I've dealt with it on my own, which is ironic seeing my choice of profession. I recieve my Bachelors in Psychology and have been working in the field ever since. For the last 7 and a half years I have been working with adolescent girls with psychological and behavioral disorders in a locked down residential facility. We deal with the sickest kids in the state and I love my job. I see myself mirrored in many of the girls, and hope that my own experiences can give me the empathy I need to help others (I never have, nor ever will share my personal experiences with any of the residents.). I also realize that in doing so I have become incredibly desensitized to trauma, including my own.
Know that I don't blame myself at all for what happened to me. I blame those who were older and should have known better. One of the people actually apologized to me when I was about 14 for the things he did to me. The other, although I still see him about once a year, has never acknowledged anything. I know that many will believe, for many reasons, that I should actively do something about it...seek counseling, confront my ghosts. But I guess that's why I'm here. Instead of telling people close to me, I'm baring my soul to strangers in hopes to fix what's been broken inside of me.
For many years it wasn't an issue, my past abuse didn't really effect my life in major ways. At times I would find myself thinking about it, wondering and questioning but long periods would go by where I would completely forget. I really didn't find myself having trouble with my past until I had kids of my own, and now I find it effecting me in many ways. I'm prone to anxiety attacks. They're usually mild to moderate, and never crippling, just extremely unpleasant. I find myself getting freaked out when people touch my kids. For example the teachers at the pre school will hug my kids and it makes my skin crawl. I also find myself getting angry with my husband when he touches me when I don't want him to and I've been becoming more and more anal about personal space. Basically I've been thinking about my past trauma and realizing that it's effecting me.
Which brings me to why I'm here. I'm here hoping that talking to some other people who can relate to my experiences and possibly help me get through my own hang ups and make me a little more at ease with myself. I'm also hoping that I can help others and will always be willing to lend a shoulder. Thanks for listening to my long winded introduction!