CHILDHOOD LOSSES DUE TO ABUSE

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There are too many to name, none easy to talk about or put into words, the ramifications so great. But one that has come up in a few blogs lately seems the very hardest to talk about, sexual intimacy in a loving relationship. That was stolen from me. And I don’t mourn what I never had. But I know it’s a great loss.

When a child loves and trusts her brother (substitute father, uncle, mother, etc.), the closeness, warmth, and time spent together is not sexual. A hug is benign, just a hug, filled with warmth and love. That’s it. And when she gets older, perhaps adolescence, she might feel a twinge of her sexuality at her first kiss with a boy she likes her own age.

Then she’s a teenager and it’s said the hormones take over, not me. I was scared and frozen when my boyfriend tried to touch me in any sexual way. But this is when one explores happily, both boy and girl enjoying the closeness and exploration.

On to later years, women respond and feel their sensuality, and are able to enjoy the touch of the one they love who loves them back. Not me. I laid there quietly, frozen, afraid to feel, so I didn’t. And I became enraged after, feeling like I had been attacked all over again.

I never reached a place where I could be with my husband and respond lovingly during intimate times without fanaticizing being forced. This sweet gentle man would never do that, it was only what my creative mind came up with so that I too could enjoy being together that way. I think that is sad. And not the norm. And not how our bodies, emotions and minds are intended to be. 

But if as a child, a brother, father, mother, or any trusted close family member, attacks a child sexually, they are arresting the child’s ability to develop as they were meant to. If you’re being forced, and by forced that also means, cajoled, tricked, manipulated, coerced, groomed, shamed, terrified, threatened, whatever treachery the attacker uses to silence the child, then you associate all those feelings with sex. You associate benign love, such as what you feel innocently for a loving family member, with sexual feelings.

That is not how it is meant to be. It is much too young to stimulate a child this way. She forever associates sex with force, shame, fear, many things, including warmth and love, because she does love her attacker.

The confusion to a child is so detrimental to her well-being and psychological health, not to mention her sexual life from then on. And she will associate a sexual response in many ways other than intended. You may hug your children and feel a response within that doesn’t match an unromantic love. And that can happen with all unromantic loving relationships. It’s crossed wires. One need not feel ashamed for what was done to them in childhood. Just note the feeling and move on.

A girl may reach adolescence and on up, looking for love in all the wrong places, because that is what she was taught.  Love and sex came from the wrong places, so how does she know where the right ones are?

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27 thoughts on “CHILDHOOD LOSSES DUE TO ABUSE

  1. Thank you for your openness on this topic. You made some very meaningful points….Things that are harder for some of us to share so openly. I appreciate your willingness to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, sure. It’s such an important topic. And yes, so very hard to share because so much shame is tied up into it.
      I’ve let go of the shame that is not mine, and never was.
      It took a long time to get here, and my work at showing myself compassion is paying off.
      I’ve been traumatized so severely that many crushing negative effects are life-long, the losses permanent.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A great blog! so true, so wrong, I was the opposite to you though and know i was sexually aware fro nursery like rember chasing boys and kissing very early even my best friend I was obsessed with kissing her neck in Infant school.

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    1. Of course. If a child’s sexual responses are awakened at an earlier age than nature intended, of course she looks to other children to feel those good, instinctive feelings. Any child does that. Our bodies are made to do that to keep the species alive. It is supposed to feel good.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This topic came up for me in therapy yesterday but I remained silent. I later emailed my T what was going on. I think when I first told about my abuse that it was in one long sentence about how sex with my hubby is silent and I can’t move or tell him what feels good or what doesn’t feel good and it is still so shameful or I don’t know, I just can’t speak.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the biggest mistakes I learned as a child was that love meant being hurt. I was taught that pain was part of being loved, so I learned how to avoid the need for love. Even when we get older and find out that there are other ways of showing and receiving love, we sometimes can’t seem to help those old echoes that were etched into us at an early age. Love does not mean pain.

    But even today, love hurts. Either because I’m not doing it right, or because I’ve insulated myself against everyone to avoid the pain. I feel like I’m maxed out on the amount of pain I can withstand, so my circle grows smaller and smaller, but every now and then, for a brief moment in time, I get a glimpse of what healthy love looks like. Sometimes it fills my heart up with awe, and other times, it just makes me incredibly sad. So many missed opportunities.

    Saw something on facebook today that I’m sure I’ll convey incorrectly, but it went something like this: The difference between like and love is that when you like a flower, you pick it so that you can enjoy it and hold it and have it for your own pleasure. When you love a flower, you water it every day so that everyone can enjoy the flower. You let the flower continue to grow, nurturing it in every way possible. To me, that’s what love is supposed to look like. When you love someone, you constantly water them, helping them grow. You tend to them carefully, and treat them gently.

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  4. Thanks for the sharing so openly. There are many childhood losses that happen and I still grieve over them. Maybe I always will. I know for me I have just started to reclaim my sensuality and sexuality in new ways. I am trying to let myself feel the full pleasure deep in my body. It is a long road home to the erotic innocence again but I think it can be done. Again, thanks for sharing on a topic that I am just really starting to focus on in my healing journey.

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  5. This is a very insightful post and a very necessary one too because I am sure there are many survivors who do not understand why their body and mind responds in ways that are so different to people who were not traumatised the way we were. I will be rereading this one many times because it makes me feel less alone. I can relate to being frozen. When my first boyfriend (at university) tried to kiss me; I kept my lips tightly pursed and was terrified. The crossed wires you describe make so mush sense, I had never thought of it like that before. Indeed, the sex and love from incest (a deadly cocktail so deformed and twisted) came from the wrong place so how do we know where to find it let alone what it looks and feels like. It is so sad that this is the way it is! I too was robbed of that joy to feel physical pleasure spontaneously! Now that I am divorced I wonder whether I will ever be able to find the right thing in the right place.
    Thank you for this post!

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    1. You are very much welcome. It makes almost teary to hear your losses in this.
      It’s not just finding the right thing in your future, but the right man. I believe you will, someone who gets it even though he has not suffered it. They are out there. It will happen for you. Your beauty will attract it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you did! And so well, but more so because you made such great strides…so others can have hope and make positive improvements too. Excellent! And I’m so glad for you because we each deserve such a basic right and pleasure, to be close with the one with we love.

      Liked by 1 person

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