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Was I Sexually Abused?

Question:

Is it possible to have been sexually abused as a child and not remember it at all? I sometimes have dreams of being sexually attacked. When I was in the psych ward there were male nurses who would come in the room at night and check on us and this really scared me. I wanted to sleep in my blue jeans because it would be harder to get blue jeans off. The sex with my husband is good (I can climax easily) but I can’t deal with being kissed, hugged, or foreplay. Basically I can’t deal with intimacy. However, I don’t remember ever being sexually abused but why else would I feel like this.? Is it possible I can’t remember? I have also had problems with anorexia. Thanks for your time.

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Answer:

Yes it is possible to have been sexually abused as a child, to not remember it, and then to experience difficulty with intimacy and other ‘symptoms’ as an adult. However, it is also possible to have NOT been sexually abused as a child and to have the same problems. Since you don’t know if you were sexually abused or not – consider that you don’t need to add to your problems by potentially ‘remembering’ something that didn’t happen. If it did happen or if it didn’t happen – you are still dealing with the same concerns today. There may very well be someone who harmed you – I don’t know one way or another. However, rather than casting about for someone to blame why not spend your energy on making life more livable in the present? The present is where you are living today. What do you think would make your life better today? Developing a better capacity for intimacy? Eating a healthy diet so that your weight remains within safe guidelines? Something else? Why not spend your energy on that? The issue comes down to whether you want to see yourself today more as a passive victim of past circumstances, or someone who actively works on today’s circumstances to make them better.

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