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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: 2 disturbing questions on sexual abuse


 alias - Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:11 pm

I'm not sure if this is the right place, but I don't know who else to ask. I e-mailed the only clinic or whatever I could find that I though was the right place, and she just e-mailed back saying she couldn't help b/c I was too far away. I just wanted an answer/ opinion ... I'm not really sure how to ask this so I’m just going to come out and ask it. I sent her following:
I am an 18 year old high school female in PA . I am shy and quite, maybe even to the point of anti-social. I have never had a boyfriend, except for one “internet romance” that lasted 3 months and ended recently, and no sexual contact ever, but ... The thing is I was flipping channels on the tv today, and I heard a person say something about, “did you stick your penis in her vagina or any other object.” Naturally I flipped back to see what was going on. Here, it was Dr. Phil and he was questioning a father about molesting his 2 year old daughter. I don't know, of course my brother didn't want to watch it, but I couldn't get those words out of my mind, so I ran upstairs to finish watching it. It was disgusting, Dr. Phil kept painting this picture. I’m a writer and a very visual person so it wasn’t really hard for me to “get the picture…” So many things were running through my mind and then I found one thought that made my heart stop. "What if I did that to my daughter..." The thought was so strong like it was a possibility or something… I was feeling sick but it didn't make any sense, why would I ask such a thing? I immediately began thinking about the past events of my life which I have done on countless occasions.
When I was little I remember taking a bath with my younger sister, we were little I'm not sure how old. I remember ... having her insert her finger into my vagina. We did this maybe 3 different times before my mom caught us one day. I didn't understand what I had done wrong. She slammed the door and went to my room and got my Beauty and the Beast snow glob that my Dad played for me every night before I went to bed, and threw it on the floor and just cried. I knew that I had been bad, but at the time I didn’t understand why it was wrong. I was afraid when my Dad got home he would punish me but he didn't. He tucked me into bed as usual, and the next night he had bought me a Lion King Snow glob to replace the one my mom had broken. I couldn't have been more than 6 or 7 but I remember that day like it was yesterday.
Then there was my obsession with markers or pencils. Is this making any sense? I feel so dirty ... I never inserted them into myself per say, but I would wear jeans or something tight fitting and “aim” the object at my whole, and I did this religiously for a long time. It hurt and stung, but yet sometimes I would do this like two or three times a day, and I had weird “reasons, story things” that went with them. It’s so hard to explain, this continued from the night in the bath tub, maybe before I don’t remember, till, wow, I discovered masturbation I think. So I’ll say 5-6th grade.
Another weird thing, I hated to touch myself and I still do. When I first “discovered” it I masturbated excessively, and thoughts of being raped always seemed to follow. Then I would feel sick afterwards like I was going to vomit and dirty. I don’t do it as much anymore but when I do I still feel sick and dirty after.
Then there is my ongoing obsession with rape. I don’t dream about it, but for example, I read a book, a series, where one of the main characters was a rape victim. This fascinated me when she went into details, I don’t know why, and I often found myself thinking about rape. I even wrote a poem about rape in the eyes of the victim last year, the sexual and emotional aspect of it, the horrible memories, but I couldn’t relate to the poem myself. I… I just don’t know.
The possibility that “something” might have happened when I was little has always been a question in the back of my mind, but to ask my mom and tell her that I remember the night in the bath tub would break her and she is already on anti-depressants. Like I said before, I have never had a boyfriend, and never been kissed or sexually active. I met a guy on the net and we liked each other. Both your lives weren’t good at the time and we were each others rock. As the “relationship” progressed we told each other things. I knew he was molested as a child by the family priest, and I wanted to know about it but I wasn’t about to ask. He brought the subject up one day after reading my poem on rape, and asked me if I wanted to be raped. No, I didn’t, but I always thought about it, I couldn’t really explain it and still can’t. I also made the statement that I thought that maybe I was molested too when I was little. This made him mad though and he said, “believe me if you had been you would remember!!” I didn’t know what to say. He told me he feared himself and had done research and didn’t want kids since a decent percentage of child molesters were molested themselves. (that is another thing I thought about as I continued to watch the Dr. Phil show.) That’s when I told him about the time in the tub … he really didn’t know what to say, and we just let the subject drop.
Then there is the whole cybersex issue. First of all, when my mom touches me or anyone else I shy away, I always have. I am uncomfortable when people get to close. Sometimes she gets mad when I shy away, I mean I really jerk like her touch burns. For example, if she is reaching to remove a piece of hair of my clothes. It’s just a natural reaction that I have had since I can remember. She has gotten mad and cried over this, “I’m your mother and I can’t even touch you and give you a hug.” It’s just a natural reaction for me. Although I shy away from people and don’t like to be touched all I want sometimes is a hug from someone, to cuddle up on the couch, but I don't. Anyway, back to the cybersex. He wanted it naturally and I didn’t. I didn’t want to say sexual things, I didn’t want to type sexual things, I didn’t want to get on cam, and I didn’t want to “touch myself” so he could hear, I didn’t want any of that. This angered him, but the whole idea was appalling, it made me nervous and made me feel dirty. He kept saying that he loved me and blah blah blah, and if he had someone else they would do this for him. It’s not like it was real or anything … And I keep thinking he is right. “normal” girls my age wouldn’t and don’t have a problem with cybersex or sex in general but I couldn’t even do that.

Also, I have this anxiety every night that someone is going to break into my house. It began in junior high. I am embarressed to admitt it but at age 15, I would find myself sleeping on my parents floor because I was so scared at every noise I heard. If it wasn't a school night I would simlpy stay up and watch tv or keep myself busy untill exhastion took over or the sun was beginning to rise. On the nights I had school, after a couple hours of tying to block out my fears I went to my parents room, because I needed sleep for school and my grades are improtant to me. Finnally, I think halfway through my freshmen year in high school the fear went away. Occassionally that fear comes back and my heart races and if I go down stairs to check the doors I might start to hypervatilate, but mostly the fear is gone. No one has ever broken in, I don't know why the idea torments me so. Just an FYI.

So anyways, the show ended and it was a to be continued. He showed the preview and it showed the little girl crying saying, “He touched my pee pee.” I just broke down. My chest was tight, I felt sick but wasn’t really sure why. Why did I ask myself if I would do that to my child? I kept telling myself I wouldn’t, that’s sick, I would never, but… Is there something wrong with me? Is there a possibility I was molested or is it more probable that I am just a sick person. I mean, I’m kind and compassionate, extremely shy and quite, love animals and kids, and want nothing more than to be a mother one day, but isn’t that what everyone says about people like that. That they were the nicest people and never expected them?
Again, I am sorry if you are not the right person to address this to, I just wasn’t sure what to do and I’m sick of trying to figure out what is wrong with me and just pushing the those past events aside. I could before but after today, after that thought. I checked the net as I have before but all I can find are signs that a child is being molested, then I found your site. I hope I found the right place. Thanks for your time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So anyway, she just said sorry can't help. For the rest of that week I felt like I was going crazy. I kept thinking about that show, visulizing pictures, i didn't understand why I was feeling those things and asking those questions. Pictures, tv, books, everywhere I turned something was there to make me see that little girl and feel "wierd" "dirty" Sometimes it wasn't even a thought or a mental image. Sometimes I would see a kid in a commerical and it was like I was already willing the image away. I wouldn't look at it and my heart would kinda skip. I feel like i'm going crazy, it doesn't make any sence. This was about a month ago.

After that week I think I forgot about it, for the most part.Sometimes, a child on tv found give me that wierd feeling, and I would will it away and be fine. Then today I was reading a book and it hit me again, one of the sceans. The whole day in school I was just trying to concentrate and not think about all the sick things and images in my mind.

I just don't understand. WHy is it happening now?? I have baby sat kids and played with all my nieces and nephews. They were just babies and I never thought the thoughts I think now. The "what if's" and it's crazy and it scares me. The feeling more than anything, the what if I think is just a by-product. I mean, I watch Law and Order: SVU and they have cases all the time talking about child molostation and everything. Clips of adults touching little kids and what not ... and I watched it and that was that. I didn't feel anything, I mean, what I feel now. I had the average thoughts, "who could do that to a child, that's just sick!" For some reason that episode with Dr. Phil triggered something and I just want it to go away, but I don't know how. I want to forget it and everything associated with it.

I want to marry and have kids, but I continue to feel this way, how will I ever be able to look at them?? Just an opinion and maybe a push in the right direction to get intouch with the right people would be greatly appricated. Like I said, I'm a good person, a "people pleaser" to a fault. Compassionate and careing...I just want things to be the way they used to be ..... and this fear and images and what not to just go away.
 alias - Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:11 pm

I was thinking about this post today and decided i'd rephrase, well try to anyway. I still kept think about it to day, but it wasn't as bad. I'm hoping it will just go away, anyways. IT's not that I think about it or visualize it, i think it's more me thinking about "NOT" thinking about it. I know it doesn't make sence. FOr example, I went to the movies yesterday and during the movie I wasn't thinking anything. I was just watching the movie. but then I would randomly think " hey i'm not thinking about" I was happy ya know, but that's just it. by telling myself I was ok and I wasn't thinking about it I was thinking about it. and then I was willing myself to just forget and go back to the movie. Same with in school today. I was taking a math test. Totally focused and the random though just hits me. "i haven't thought about it" then it starts all over.

I just wish I knew why, why am I so afraid to think about that episode and everthing that followed, and why am I obessing over it? I was afraid before that I was becming a monster, but I don't think that's it. I don't feel anything when i'm around kids or watching them on tv. Nothing sick anyway. maybe " aww she's cute" or whatever giirls say when they see little kids. sometimes though it's like I aviod it b/c i'm afraid it will bring back those thoughs. But that's anyother thing. What Are THe THoughts??? I push them away before fully embracing them... then I just keep willing myslef not to think about it. I've tried sitting down and entertaining them and embracing them to see what it is i'm afraid of or, what i'm running from, but nothings there. I rationaliz it, feel a little crazy, and that's it.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:00 am

User avatar Often people will wonder whether they have repressed memories about different situations and becomed concerned that something may have happenned to them in the past. While it is possible to repress memories, often just the thought that it may have happenned takes on a life of its own.

Regardless of the cause, what you are describing appears to be causing a significant difficulty in your life. This makes the thoughts an issue that needs to be dealt with for you to live your life comfortably.

There are many aspects to what you are describing. I would strongly suggest that you consider discussing these issues with a psychologist or counselor. Often, with subjects such as this it is difficult to have a discussion with someone you know, so an independent counselor can be of great service. You can talk openly and honestly about your feelings and memories with them and they can guide you towards healing.

Unfortunately, the internet is not a great medium for psychological counselling. As such a counselor will be able to give you much better information and help. They can help if you are dealing with anxiety issues, depression issues, repressed/distressing memories and a multitude of other issues.

I'm not sure this is the answer you were looking for, but I hope it helps. Also, it's important to know that having difficulties like these does not make one "wierd". These issues are much more common than people know and psychologists can be a tremendous service. So try not to feel awkward about seeking psychological counseling. Your doctor may be able to recommend a good psychologist for you to see.

Best wishes.
 Dr. K. Eisele - Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:09 am

User avatar Alias:

I think that you definitely need to see a counselor. Until you can, though, I think you should focus on the fact that you haven't behaved inappropriately to children. It is possible that you were molested as a child, and it is also possible that you were not.

Whichever turns out to be the case, though, doesn't change who you are right now, and who you were before you saw the Dr. Phil show.

There are other explanations for your feelings. Some people have obsessive thoughts about things they could never do. It is not a fantasy and doesn't mean that they want to do those things, deep down inside. You mentioned having other fears, which are, to the best of your knowledge, unfounded and inexplicable. This suggests to me that it is possible these are obsessive thoughts, rather than memories or emotional reactions to things you may have repressed.

These types of thoughts do not make you bad or crazy. Don't misunderstand--I'm not saying this is "normal", just that sometimes these kinds of feelings happen. Never be ashamed of how you feel. Only you control your responses to your feelings.

Try not to worry so much, because this will aggravate your situation, making you even more fearful. Find a therapist as soon as possible to talk about your fears. You are not a molester and you won't turn into one overnight, based on what you have written.
 alias - Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:10 am

Thanks for the advise. It was nice to wake up and read the two comments before work. I felt like maybe there was hope for me. I was happy again, for once, but that random thought of " I'm not thinking about it .... don't think about it" was still there. It's annoying, but hopefully I can get it to go away. I just don't get it ... it went away for a while, I don't understand why reading that book brought them back. I think I forgot about it b/c of all the stress (car accident, looking at colleges in different states, stress of flying, boyfriend cheated and we broke up, school ect.) and once the stress was gone, my mind went back to try and solve it's previous problem. I don't know.

Ok so I need to find a psychologist or counselor? How exactly does an 18 yr old go about doing that without involving her parents?? I'm still in high school.

Thanks again for all the help, I really didn't know what to do. I couldn't keep living like that. Atleast know I have the knowledge that perhaps I can get passed this and get back to normal. Well as normal as I was before anyway!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:10 pm

User avatar If you are 18 you are a legal adult in the eyes of the medical community. As such, it is your choice whether or not to involve your parents. Often there are psychological clinics that have free services for those that qualify. If you have insurance, they will often pay for services.

My advice regarding how to find a counsellor is 1) to consider asking your regular doctor who they recommend. 2) you can consider searching for the behavioral health clinics in your area in the phone book and give them a call to see if they can help. Also, if you're still in high school, your high school counsellor may be able to help you.

Symptoms such as yours can be overcome with the right help, so I encourage you to pursue it.

Best wishes.
 alias - Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:30 pm

Ok, i'm all set, but i'm kinda having second thoughts ... I mean, I went from thinking "i'm not thinking about it" almost every second of every day to thinking it maybe 20-30 times. I'm rellly hoping not to go and it will just go away on its own.

The thing is I don't want this to define me for the rest of my life. I want to be a lawyer/juvenile judge, and adopt a child someday. How am I ever going to be able to adopt if people find those records in my medical files?? .... It's hard to adopt as it is. I just want to be able to forget about it and not have to think about people digging it up.

So I guess the question is, in your opinion, should I just go anyway, or is it probable that it will just go away like it did before but stay gone this time??
 Dr. K. Eisele - Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:28 am

User avatar Alias:

I understand your desire for this to just go away, and I'm pleased that you aren't as preoccupied with such disturbing content.

My recommendation is that you go to a counselor. If you have them, repressed memories are a tricky business. People don't live with them, they live around them. If you have repressed memories, they will always be there, just under the surface, affecting your thoughts, reactions, responses, and consequently, your behaviors, in ways you will not even be aware of. If you don't have repressed memories and this problem is due to another issue, such as obsessive thoughts, they, or other kinds of thoughts, may recur. Think about all the anxiety this caused you. You don't want this to snowball on you, causing you to be less productive than you could be in your life. Obsessive thoughts can be treated, sometimes with psychotherapy alone, but sometimes medication is also necessary.

To answer your other concern about how all this may look on your record, I would like you to think simply about how it would look if you have this sort of problem (either repressed memories or obsessive thoughts) and you don't deal with it. Neither condition is something easily covered up. These are the kinds of problems that can cause someone to be very unhappy in their life, in the long run. People with issues of most any type are not denied access to the things you mentioned IF they deal with them appropriately and effectively. It's when you don't face them that you may run into problems.

As for future employers--you are not required to divulge such information. In the few states in which I've lived, it is legal only to ask if your ability to perform your usual abilities has been affected by a condition, either physical or mental. Generally, as long as you are never disciplined for actions that occurred as a result of an illness, you can honestly answer that question "no."

At this point, though, I think your concerns are premature. Until you speak openly with a qualified therapist you will not know if there is something with which to be concerned.

Please see a counselor. You will be acting in your own best interests.
 alias - Sat Jan 06, 2007 3:52 pm

Alright i'm going to make an appointment for as soon as possible, it's my last shot I guess. I just don't know what to do anymore. It gets batte and i'm hopefull but then it comes back 10 times worse. My life was finnaly on track, I was happy, truly happy forthe first time in my life and then these thoughts!!! THese DAMN houghts .... I cry, I can't make them go away!! these feelings I can't make go away. I feel like I can't escape it, and just want to die. Every night I go to sleep and pray they will be gone in the morning but there still there ... waiting for me when I wake up. I Whent on my first date and they were there!!!! Sitting opening giflts at christmas my parents crying at the slide show I made them talking about how wonderful a daughter I was ... I wanted to be sick, I felt so fake, so dirty. I know there's no question I just needed to speak to someone instead of crying.
I see little kids and i'm fine, but 2 seconds later it registers they are a child and my heart skips and i'm afaid. I'm afrad of the thoughs. I have no will to act, only to be away from them. What is wrong with me. I can't live like this, I don't even feel like myself anymore. I feel like someone is in my head constantly whispering in my ear, and I want that vocie to go away!!!

You what's even stranger though, I was watching something last night, i forget what, but it was about a mother abusing her son. I was angrey, I felt like the old me again. COmpassionate, hateful of them he was just a child. I was me again, but then again...
 Dr. K. Eisele - Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:24 pm

User avatar Alias:

Good for you!

I'd hoped you would decide to see a therapist. Please come back and let us know how you're doing.

Best wishes--
 alias - Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:13 pm

Alright well ... I tried to find the answers myslef but it got to the point where I really though about killing myself, so I told myself I had to try a pyscologist first.

Basically she thinks that there is a good possiblity that I saw something or was a vitctom or some sort or molestation or something I couldn't understand at the time.

Secondly, she thinks it's quite possible that I am bi-polar type two. I'm suppose to get some blood work done in a couple weeks but untill then I guess we are just going to talk. It's nice to finnaly talk to someone but it's such a hard thing to talk about.

I finnaly got my thoughts to quit racing and got to the point where they don't keep me up at night. I don't feel like the same person though. I feel dirty and discusting, I feel like the old me died and i'm just stuck here.

That and I'm "turned on" all the time now. Sometimes it's like i'm horny from the moment I wake up till the time I go to bed. Other times I might be in school and feel myself just turn on by looking at the guy beside me. Then in a couple minuets it will go away. Then maybe an hour later I'll be talking with a friend and i'll feel myself turn on, or be at work helping and old lady into her wheel chair, or sometimes .... be walking by a kid! That's what's the scariest of all and I can't stand it. I don't feel anything torward the kid or the other people it just happens. It's annoying with everyone except for the kids ... it scares the crap out of me and I find that I have "panic attacks" when I do.

Other times I just have the panic attacks when I'm around them. I don't want to be near them and my lungs start to tighten and ... I can't do this! I feel like i'm going crazy or turning into a freak and it's been almost two months. I feel like it is going to be like this forever and I just can't feel like this anymore! I feel empty or scared, nothing else.... I got my first kiss this weekend and I knew I should have been excited but I wasn't. I just want my old life back, but I feel like my life is over, and sometimes I wish someone would do me the favor since I didn't have the courage to do it myself ....
 Dr. K. Eisele - Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:10 am

User avatar Alias:

Thank you for coming back and letting us know how things are going. I am so relieved that you went to a therapist, and especially that you have the good sense not to harm yourself.

There is no reason to believe, from what you have said, that you will always feel like this. That's why therapy is so important. It is extremely effective for helping people feel like themselves again, if that is what they want.

I wonder if your frequent arousal is really the result of a new boyfriend, the one who gave you your first kiss. You said that you really didn't feel anything, and that's not unusual, at the time. Many girls really don't feel anything until after the kiss and after they've had a chance to fantasize on it a little. Your arousal around little kids could just be a fantasy about being an adult and a mother someday. I think it is very possible that you haven't allowed yourself to "feel" the rush of excitement at having been kissed for the first time.

As always, please drop back in any time and update us.

Be well.

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