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Why Can Childhood Sexual Abuse Lead to Promiscuity?

September 4, 2017 Tia Hollowood

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse may try to cope with PTSD symptoms by engaging in sexual promiscuity. Here is how one survivor explains why this happens.

At first, the idea that sexual promiscuity can result from childhood sexual abuse seems illogical. Wouldn't someone who suffered sexual abuse have difficulty creating intimate relationships and work to avoid personal contact? While this can often be the case, a review of the research on childhood sexual abuse (from the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, or AAETS) confirms that a large number of survivors engage in promiscuous behaviors, even those who turn away close relationships. Here are some of the reasons why childhood sexual abuse can lead to promiscuity.

The AAETS report also supports the finding that childhood sexual abuse is known to result in a myriad of symptoms including depression, sleep disturbances, poor self-esteem, guilt, shame, dissociative disorders, anxiety, and relationship difficulties. Often these symptoms exist under the umbrella of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In my case, dissociation, shame, and poor self-esteem were the PTSD symptoms I believe led to my promiscuity during my late teens.

Sexual Abuse Survivors Often Equate Promiscuity with Self-Worth

My trauma had ended, but I remained silent about the sexual abuse. In fact, for several years after it ended, I maintained contact with my abuser. The abuse I suffered had been so normalized that I stuffed it away and attempted to minimize it. In fact, my abuse had incorrectly convinced me, that I had to be sexually desirable to have any self-worth.

Promiscuity in Sexual Abuse Survivors Masks Other PTSD Symptoms

Sex became an escape on several levels. It was a dopamine-, serotonin-, endorphin-loaded experience. I did not have to be emotionally attached. I could have the satisfaction of being found attractive, wanted, and worthwhile, while still escaping any controlling relationship or the possibility of abandonment. As a final defense, my reckless encounters could trigger dissociation, which remained my ultimate escape for many years.

My actual symptoms of sexual abuse were still there in all their untreated glory. I eventually realized that I only felt better for short moments at a time. People began to label me and look down on me. My escape began to create more wounds than it could hide. I was becoming even more withdrawn. I needed help.

Replacing Promiscuity with Treatment for Childhood Sexual Abuse and PTSD

It took me a long time to recover from my childhood trauma. Rebuilding a healthy sense of self-worth was a large part of my recovery. I needed help to realize that promiscuity is not a dirty word. Choosing to have numerous consensual partners does not make anyone cheap or morally deficient. What is wrong is shaming someone because they have had sex with multiple partners. At the same time, I needed help to realize that sex without intimacy does not reflect love or affection. We are lovable and worth being around without presenting ourselves as sexually available.

Finally, I needed to learn that promiscuity doesn't cure the symptoms of PTSD caused by childhood sexual abuse. Long-term healing takes time and help. I was afraid to discuss my abuse or my promiscuity with my first few counselors. I wish I had known that a good therapist would not be surprised or judgemental about anyone's trauma or behaviors. When I finally could discuss everything, a tremendous weight began to lift from my shoulders. I needed to tell my entire story to heal.

Promiscuity is a difficult topic to address. I know we heal with each other and strengthen each other by sharing our stories. Please feel free to add to the discussion below. Your email information is private, and I will respond to everyone who comments.

Source

APA Reference
Hollowood, T. (2017, September 4). Why Can Childhood Sexual Abuse Lead to Promiscuity?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, July 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/traumaptsdblog/2017/09/childhood-sexual-abuse-ptsd-and-promiscuity



Author: Tia Hollowood

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Love
June, 11 2022 at 4:52 pm

I was about 8 or 9 when my step father started doing things to me, my mother had to of known because it was being done sometimes right in front of her. I was in I think middle school when I finally went to her and told her what was going on. She had him move out but almost 2 weeks later when I got home from school he was back. It was at that moment my mother removed herself from parenting and forced me to depend on this man for everything. Anything I needed I had to ask him, rides places he would take me. She basically served me to him on a platter. It sickened me but what choice did I have but to adapt. This was how life would be from then on, it became "normal" even though it wasn't at all normal. I tried escaping that house, that man, that world. Getting married at 17, moving to a new state but always ending back there. Having to call and ask him for help, having only him to go to for advice or to just talk. It was how I had to adapt and to survive. It's beyond sick I know this but if my mom wouldn't protect me then who would. Eventually I needed a job and who was there to give me one, with decent pay, good hours, medical but you him. So now in my early 20's with 2 kids I still find myself being cornered and touch and totally violated. When this would happen I would just shut off, go blank trying to block it out.
Let's fast forward years to my current issue and situation, I stupidly placed myself in a situation with a man isolated myself alone in a bathroom with him. Not in anyways to be sexual, I was at my home and he came over so I could help him with some paperwork. I didn't know this man to well but he had been over a few times before with one of my close friends. Nothing about him gave off any red flags but was I wrong. My boyfriend and I had been and still are going through a very rough time at that time he wasn't living at home, had no time for our family and was checked out of life with me. This man was familiar with who my boyfriend was they hung out in the same social circle. I was not in anyway interested in this other man, I was simply doing him a favor and didn't think anything other. I must admit at the time I was using drugs to help me cope so this is why the isolation in the bathroom took place.
I was cooking dinner for my 4 children when the man showed up unexpectedly. I let him in and he went into the bathroom that was right in the kitchen area. After securing the stove top I entered the bathroom. It was after a few minutes of smoking that he stood up, went to kiss me. I pulled back from him and said "no, I can't". At that point I was going to exit the bathroom but he grabbed my wrist and turned me so my back was against his front. His heavy breathing down my neck spun me into a frozen like stance. As I'm looking at myself in this mirror all I see looking back was 10 year old me. I couldn't do much I froze. My mind had a million things running through it and I couldn't process any of it. It all was so quick. I remember seeing him with a condom in his hand, I remember him trying to pull my pants down but having trouble because I was so clinched tight they wouldn't move down past mid butt cheek. He was breathing so heavy, it was so hot and running down my neck. It was just how my step dad would breathe on me rubbing against me. The only motion I managed to make was to reach my arm up and slide it down the wall turung the light off. I couldn't bare look at myself letting this happen.. everything's kind of a blur it was quick and I'm not sure if he ever was able to penetrate me. He then left, I finished dinner and went to shower. My boyfriend happened to show up right after he left and looked at me said "what's wrong with you"? But not once stopping to hear me and left. I had no one to talk to, not one person. I lived with this for almost a year. It wasn't till a huge fight that I finally came out and tried to tell my boyfriend. But once I said "I have been with someone". He got me in my head with a curling iron breaking not just the curling iron in half but my head as well. Since that day I am constantly reminded of what happened. I'm having trouble trying to work past this event. I didn't want what happened to happen, I didn't mean to freeze up and be so weak but it happened. My boyfriend well now ex keeps saying that it's my fault, that I'm lying and there is no way I just froze. Was it my fault though? Yes I guess in a way but I didn't think that I would ever be put into a situation like that again. Idk anymore. I know that this has ruined my relationship, robbed my children of a father. He is consumed by it, wanting to use it to hurt me because it hurts him. But I'm already living with it, having to deal with what it's done to me without any support from anyone. I want him to not hurt from this stupid mistake I made, from my weakness and I want to leave it in the past. I guess because of what I went through as a child I have developed the ability of suppressing things that I guess we should. I just try to move on to the next day and go about life. Having no one but myself is a hard thing and I wish I could show my now ex that I'm not okay, but I don't know how. Am I that sick that i just want to go on and not think about it happening? That isn't normal I know but it's the only way I know how to survive and not let everything consume me.

Peggy Joseph
April, 27 2022 at 9:44 am

I recently started sharing with my therapist that I was sexually abuse as child by my stepfather and brother. I never knew that being promiscuous and childhood sexaul abuse was a direct link. I was shocked even to be told that. As she explains it "that's all you know" I have buried these feelings so long and never really dealt with them. I was so shamed and blamed myself for many years. It's been 40 years since the assault happened and this is the first time in my life that I've admitted. I am trying to heal because I have some depression and it's so hard for me to forgive myself. I've tried so hard to forgive and struggle every time. I know better, but my mind won't allow myself to feel grace. The article resonate with me and I felt compel to speak up. Thank you for sharing your experience and I know now that I'm not alone.

Dale
April, 26 2022 at 12:17 am

I have been with my wife for 22 years and have found lots of things that anyone would believe she has cheated. She denies everything even though it is obvious. I feel she has no respect for me. We have 2 children and she says she hates that I think that way about her. But still I find her involved with men in an unhealthy way and I am made to feel like I am over reacting. She says she wants to tell me about what happened but she doesn’t trust me. She has told me lies about it and never wanted to share anything with me. I know in my heart I should leave but it is hard for I do love her. But I know I can’t help her as I am not the one for her. How do I leave.

Karen
March, 11 2022 at 11:07 am

You're writing my story. Over the years information about sexual abuse has become more helpful and less taboo, even though the 'judgment' is still alive and well. When people don't understand something they tend to judge. People are horrified by it, and should be, but they don't understand how it effects a child and their development. I experienced it and I am still learning how to grasp the scope of its impact on my self-image and my life choices. I Googled this topic because I am in counseling to deal with the end of my marriage and other assorted unresolved issues. In one recent session I mentioned that I am still ashamed of the choices I made as a teen and young adult (promiscuous choices) that I have never told anyone about. Now I am old and alone with plenty of time on my hands to sit still and breathe and discover who I am and what my needs really are. This is both freeing and disappointing - but mostly freeing. Your blog is so encouraging to me. I think it is most helpful to realize that 'you' as an individual are not alone in an experience. And there is so much to learn about moving on from the people who have found healthy ways to moved forward. I am glad to have found your blog. Thank you so much for being transparent and sharing 'you' with the rest of us.

Jes
February, 10 2022 at 1:11 am

I was sexually abused when I was 8 years old by a family friend. It went on for a year. He was bold enough to do it in another room with my parents in the livingroom! They trusted him that much. When I told my parents when I was 13 after having nightmares, they didnt believe me. No one called the cops or got me counseling and it was brushed under the rug. I then figured it was my fault. I became promiscuous and had to always have a boyfriend for fear of being alone. I experimented with drugs, was in a few abusive relationships and one night at a rave while I was high, I only remember waking up at a friend's house, not sure how I got home or how I had different clothes on. I believe something happened but I don't remember. I met my now husband 20 years ago and not long after we married I began sleeping with random guys. Ones that would tell me I was sexy. My husband was not very affectionate. Guys would give me compliments and it wouldn't take long before I slept with them. But when it happened I felt like I wasn't there mentally. I would lay there. Like I was off somewhere else. I have seen a counselor since then and me and my husband are still together but it's been a long road and still is hard. He asks me questions all the time, like why I didnt show remorse when I was with these men, why would I let them use me like that? I always feel I dont know how to explain it. I went into a deep depression a few years ago and have been on medication since. I think about what happened everyday. My abuser will never pay for what he did to me. I'm 41 years old and I still can remember what abuse I endured. I hate myself everyday for thr pain I caused my husband but I don't know how to explain why I slept with these men. I don't even understand it. I refuse to go places by myself unless I take one of our kids with us (they are teens), because I dont want a man to talk to me. Any advice?

Sport
February, 1 2022 at 10:06 pm

I've lost my biological mother to overdose on drugs, been adopted, grew up being molested by my brother for years (9-12), lost my virginity by being raped (14) forcefully and painfully, and have been assaulted several times. I lost all hope and self worth was very promiscuous in my teens and very early 20's and even got so low I got hooked on drugs for a while and even sold myself once. I always thought I was just this bad person that had a sex issue but finally realizing its stemmed from my childhood sexual traumas. I lost my fiancé because he couldn't deal with my past he knew too much and thought my promiscuity was my choice. I couldn't talk about my traumas with him in fear of losing him I shut down and had really bad anxiety when he brought up my sexual past. It was too much for him to handle and I was bringing him down. We lost a child together and now I lost him. I am completely just at wits end and finally seeking help. I don't know if anyone would ever be able to love me with all that I've done and been through. This is my first time ever speaking out about this and always swept it under the rug but finally realizing my traumas are effecting my life.. I think I may have PTSD personality disorder, anxiety, or some type of issues could this be this really be the reason or did I bring this onto myself?

RJ
December, 15 2021 at 2:29 pm

Hello Tia,
I'm in love with a woman that I have known since we were kids. We're both almost 60, and we are in a long-distance relationship. She has opened up to me that she was sexually abused as a young teenager, by her grandfather. She has also revealed much of her sexual past to me, and as much as I try to be understanding, it bothers me. She claims she wasn't promiscuous, though she can't even remember an exact number of her past partners, and can only guess using a range of numbers. She was a teenage Mom (not the grandfather), and was in and out of relationships (no pun intended!) for her whole life. Many of them were much older men and being flings, and none have been the same age or younger, except for one that was much younger than her when she was in her 40's. I personally know 3 of the men, one of which was more than double her age which she was in her early 20's. She has gone from one man to another and back to a previous man several times in her past. I know she has had a rough life, she never had a father in her life, her grandfather raped her and her mother abandoned her all alone in a strange town. She was also in an early abusive marriage, a 2nd "in it for stability" non-loving marriage and a 3rd marriage where she was physically and sexually abused and raped by her husband on many occasions. So I know her life has been a living hell. She deals with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, and has attempted suicide on at least 2 occasions. I had a good family, which I am grateful for, but it makes relating to her past even more difficult. I haven't had many relationships, which also compounds my feelings of inadequacy. Even as I read what I am typing, I feel like a heel. I have self-diagnosed myself with having Retroactive Jealousy, all the symptoms are there. I expressed some shock and frustration to her about her sexual past and now it's a sore subject to try to discuss. I don't want those jealous feelings, and I want to give her the love she deserves. She's a wonderful woman, even though she has been in many terrible situations. My questions are:
1. Is it safe to assume that much of her sexual past (on many different levels...abuse, older men, seeking acceptance and confusing sex as love) was the result of her having been sexually abused as a child?
2. How can I get help for my jealousy? I know in order to be the man she deserves, I have to fix myself.
3. How can I help her deal with things that still bother her about her past? How do I rebuild the trust that I destroyed?
I appreciate any help you can give us.
RJ

Sport
February, 1 2022 at 10:32 pm

Hi RJ! Please let me know if you were able to get past this and be the man she needs? I am currently going through this as I have a similar situation.. I've been molested by my brother growing up and lost my virginity by a painful rape and have been assaulted several times.. this led me to be very promiscuous in my teens and very early 20's. I've lost my fiancé recently because he knew too much and my past was effecting him in such a bad way. He thought my promiscuity was my own choice and doing when I don't think he understood or will understand what led up to it, he just see the actions and is disgusted with me. I've been with guys that he knows and he even found out the lowest thing I could have possibly done.. I sold myself once to an old white guy. This was all before we got engaged and now its ruined our relationship. All I needed was his support and love to get through this difficult time.
You can help by just listening to help reassure her that she is loved and you're not judging her stay by her side and be patient

Harry Velasquez
November, 23 2021 at 7:36 am

Hi,
I met my partner in college. During those years she was very confident and strong willed which I loved. Things broke don’t when i didn’t listen to her silent outcries for attention and then her behaviors which whispers before began to emerge. She shared the violent child rape at 12 only to be followed by an additional rape by the man she trusted with her violent sexual assault. This second attack lasted for some time and when she told me She described him as a boyfriend. There was her friend Steven who was also aware of the first attack but vague on whether he knew of the second but it appeared he was a vital character and had a further role to play in things to come.
However, moving forward, I was used to her being solidly grounded for a young woman. I think though this is what lead to cheating. I of course didn’t make it better because I didn’t believe the connection between cheating and victimization. She eventually told me more but my vision was skewed. I was locked on intent not symptom and my response made it no better. Somehow we got through it but not past it. However, since, we had a lovely and precious daughter though there have been abortions as well. Again, I accept not giving her the support she needed.
Recently, she cheated with a man whom she new as a child, likely the only one who believed her prompt outcries at the time - steven. She went to him seven months in confidence to express the stress and pressure she still endures. But even in her crisis state he engaged in a sexual affair with my partner. She admitted to me what continues to happen and said there are feelings for him involved. He was aware of me and our daughter.
In other times I would have been infuriated but I saw a pattern finally giving credence to past discussions about her promiscuity. All the men she was intimate with “using the term loosely” have this one thing in common - she shared her vulnerability wether the victimization or related stressors.
I couldn’t believe the revelation but I’m in a limbo. She has opened up after all these years. I believed she was maliciously planning it all now as in the passed. But I can’t just discard our relationship as I now understand more about her behavior. But I don’t know what’s next shy of counseling which did some good during our pregnancy but she failed to return. It was like she didn’t want to return. She immerses in her career as a special Ed teacher to the point of extreme exhaustion and it has taken a toll on our relationship since our daughter’s birth.
I am confused. I understand more because of the behavioral connections I’ve made but I don’t know where to turn. I want to save my family and I’m ready to accept all of it but I fear I am late. She says she want counseling but it reintroduction is a second priority sadly. And if I talk about it I feel it’s not well received. I believe I am at great fault here because I know I failed her for not making the connection sooner. I just love her dearly and want her to grow. Outwardly she is the perfect person until you peel the layers and see the hurt and the pain she endures.
I wanted her to report her attackers but she is reluctant as I think she protects them as with all her past lovers who entered her life under the guise of being a “listener”. Am I wrong with my interpretation of all this or am I just exhibiting hurt as well? What should I do to help my partner? How may I keep our daughter from feeling any of this? She feels something, that much is certain coupled with my partner’s incentive treatment of her at times. I have curved the usual Hispanic reaction to child misbehavior ( my partners childhood family household was more than typical for the time in child rearing). My partner rushes her and has expectations that seem off. I intervene many times and don’t believe they are the whims of an over protective father but this has become more common in recent years. Yet another concern I have.
Please give me direction. H.

Mike
November, 15 2021 at 11:00 pm

My wife is a survivor of CSA from the age of 8-9 years old. As a teenager was very active sexualy. We married at a young age and two years into marriage had an affair. 4 years later we had a child and all of her memories of the abuse came out. Two weeks later she told me of the affair. It was too much to handle so I held all my thoughts and emotions in and worked to help her and her abuse issues out. We are still together 30 years later but recently my issues with the affair have reared their ugly head and I'm now trying to understand the whole affair and why it happened. It's been a lot of research and souk searching. I've forgiven her of the act but have never been able to forget what happened but also want to be sensitive to her abuse and feelings that are all connected. She is very open to questions because with counseling she has been able to live with it and implement plans to deal with it. How do we get past all of this without harming her recovery but healing my memories of the affair?

Me
October, 31 2021 at 3:24 am

Nonsensical psychology. If you go with the notion that "abuse" causes promiscuity you are very lost. It fascinates me how when a woman, child, or LGBT person is involved its never their fault. Promiscuity is NOT caused by external factors because it is a very internal behavior. In fact promiscuity is not sexual, promiscuity is a need for other people. Children whose parents neglect will desire being wit those said parents, but if it is continually difficult, they seek the same from other members of the same family, if that's difficult they totally rebel from the family to seek the same from strangers. I know this because it happened to me. A girl seduced me then a few years later she told everyone i abused her. On the night that it happened we were sleeping in the same room with no one else. She asked me to get on the bed(i was sleeping on the floor). I didn't know she wanted sex. She spooned me, then went outside as if she is going to bathroom, but she had gone there to remove her clothes. She came back to bed and when i realized she had removed her clothes that's when we had sex because i was sure that's what she wanted. She is the one that came on to me and made sure that we have sex, but how could she accuse me years later?
I realize now that sex is a way to use another person to get what your own parents could not give. Sexual promiscuity happens when now that the people you are relating to are not your parents, being very close to them invokes sexual feelings, or a desire to "mate". A promiscuous person will get that from you, but because it is a need for them, she will not want to give anything to you. That is where the difference comes in, this is where they accuse you of abuse so that they keep what they got from, and the ensuing weakness you get from such an accusation, they will use that to accuse you of many other things bad things that happened in their lives that you had no input over and had no knowledge of.
Promiscuity is a need for ones parents, it is a vacuum that has to be filled, but if it filled by a stranger, the stranger does not have parental feelings t protect him when sexual feelings well up. This is why people who get raped or such, tend to experience the same thing again and again. To show that this is an issue of parental neglect, where are the parents when the child is being molested? I have seen promiscuity and i know it exists before puberty, before abuse, i mean what about those promiscuous teenagers who have never been abused? You said it right in the beginning, it is illogical. Where then do you turn around and find reasons to support it? If anybody wants this to be understood, go with the logic, not emotional support for people whose circumstance you do not understand. And i find it odd that when a promiscuous girl grows up to tell one that they have a need to be with men, why would that not say, thats how she has been and that's what caused the "sexual abuse" because she wanted those men to do that to her? So don't tell me abuse causes promiscuity because i have seen abuse and i can tell you these "victims" are the abusers and they are more abusive than you can ever imagine.

TheOneTheyCallMe
June, 23 2021 at 1:25 am

I believe this is confirmation of what my soon-to-ex-wife is going through. We dated for 3 years and were living married together for almost 5 when she left me for co-workers she'd hadn't even known 3 months. I never wanted a divorce and still don't. But, it's been almost 4 years now and she's had a string of relationships since then, moved to another state for one, and then moved back for another. Then she ended up moving back to our hometown in a place her father fixed up for her and her newborn. The baby daddy is from a neighboring state and not involved (which apparently how she wants it).
I still get confused and well up with tears & questions when I try to make sense of it all. Not a month before she left we were discussing buying a 2nd car, getting a place to call our own, and to finally start our own family for which we already had names for. Little notes and messages of affection were around, too. Then one day before work, she didn't want me to drive her and instead opted for the bus (over an hour ride as apposed to <15 minutes). Odd, I thought. Then, on her way to work, I get the text that pulled the rug from underneath me. She no longer wanted to be married. It hit me hard and I struggled terribly. Fell into a deep depression which led to losing an extremely promising career and drug addiction. I do not blame her for either. I'm almost out of it now and doing somewhat better. We've seen each other twice since she left. Almost 2 years after the first time I saw her, she wanted to see me in person. She was pregnant. I knew it before we even met up as we always seemed to be on the same frequency. Her adopted mother even said before we were married that it was "uncanny how well we got each other." It was true. We even had our own vocabulary to convey things to each other in public as well as in private. One such term, 'soulfly', came out of a desire to not need to say, "That's exactly what I was thinking!" We said it often. Parting for the day had its own ritual of back & forth phrases that to anybody else would seem childish if not plain gibberish.
We liked messing with people, too. Once we were having one of our game nights and a newly made friend, who was diabetic, needed to take an insulin shot in the kitchen. In a loud (but not yelling) voice I asked her from the kitchen to the livingroom, "You ok if Ben shoots up in the kitchen?" Without missing a beat & already knowing what I was doing, she replied, "Sure! Not a problem." After the guests quietly looked at each other in wide-eyed disbelief that we could possibly be letting someone use drugs openly, we both busted up into laughter.
Our first time seeing each other after she left was at a particular convection which we had volunteered at for the previous 5 years together. I was a few hours away living with some family with no job and no money. She had worked up to be 2nd in command over the entire convention (I would have been a department lead if I knew I was going to make it) and hit me up asking if I was coming. I told her I couldn't afford the gas. After a while she texted me saying she had found a room for me to stay and would pay for the gas & food while I was there. Thinking this was a chance at reconsoliation, I happily showed up. We even got intimate at one point. However, the worst thing happened: I was on medication I had not been told amplifies the effects of alcohol. At the dance of the final night, I decided to have 2 drinks. I blacked out. The next day she was furious and I was extremely embarrassed. I left for home early with my tail between my legs feeling as though I blew my chance. The following day she changed her name on Facebook. We'd been apart for a few months and that's when she decided to change her name. It's also the only time I've been drunk since she left.
I hope it's not just me, but it seemed like she still cared. We've almost been apart as long as we were married and I still think about her everyday. Course, a little distance HAS given me the clarity of mind to see the red flags going back to our dating years. But, even then, the issues had been addressed and gotten past as far as I was concerned. I dunno.
One big flag was the fact she's never sought or had any kind of counseling or therapy for her past. She didn't even want pre-marital counseling which, looking back, I should have not let go of so easily.
If anyone has ever had something like this happen, here's some advice I've gotten along the way from other people with traumatic backgrounds: it's not your fault and you cannot fight those battles for them. They cannot be forced to do anything regarding their trauma and to be frank, it's none of your business. It's their fight and their decision to seek help and must come from within themselves. It cannot be forced and do not attempt to (I didn't just to be clear). Encourage and support them, but do not tell them they need therapy or anything like it. Ask if there's anything you can do and listen. If they don't have anything for you, don't bring it up again. It's tender, volitile baggage that does not involve you. Just be a loving person and carry on as normal as you can. They may still sabotoge the relationship and believe me when I say I know what it's like to not have anything to do about it. Hurt people hurt people whether knowingly, on purpose, or not. Stay strong and try to remain as stable as you can. Knowing they can rely on you goes father than you may ever know even if the relationship ends.

E
May, 26 2021 at 5:22 pm

I was sexually abused the first time when I was 6 going on 7... by a 14/15 year old... by 10 i was telling sex stories during library hour and reading rape scenes from Clan of the Cave Bear to my classmates in a hidden corner. I was afraid to touch a guy again til 17...then at 19 my 2nd bf was abusive.. more physically. but also sexually.. i got rid of him.. literally paid him to go to Florida and moved and changed my number (it was private until 2 years ago when i found out he is dead)... my professor at school was hitting on me and grabbing me at the time and parents thought I shouldn't be a music major. they cut off funding so i became an exotic dancer... at this point only 2 BFs ever... and couldn't really date.. til around the end... then i got roofied while waiting for a gf who was late at a bar and passed around at a party... . that's when i went crazy... from 3 at 22 to over 80 by 26... married for a few years and then divorced by 30... over the next 4 years there had to be at least 50...married again... have a kid... divorced again after 3 years.... i love my kid... i still like hurting myself... i also fantasize about rape... now its almost intoxicating.. ive set up my own rapes... hotel rooms what not.. since then... i like to fight back.. i never got to when it really happened... i didn't know better at age 6, and when i was 22 (and again at 33) I was roofied.... i COULDN'T fight back.. so now the biggest sexual high i can get is to play "home invasion" if a guy can't hit me (in the bedroom) i can't date them.... i need abuse to enjoy sex sometimes... if i don't get it after a while... i go crazy...

Chris
March, 24 2021 at 4:33 pm

I am 47. I became promiscous after being raped when I was 13. It carried on for many years and I stopped counting at 100 boys. I hated myself. At age 29 I married an abuser and I endured because I believe that is what I deserved. I finally divorced him, the marriage made me asexual and frigid but I loved it because I felt healed and whole. I vowed never to be in a relationship again and to definitely never ever have sex again. I can handle a lot of things but not self loathing. Now I am with a man whom I love and who loves me and I am proud to say that I have no problem with being faithful. We’re having amazing sex, it is beautiful and sacred but I havent dealt with the past, I need to accept, forgive, and embrace the person I used to be. I thought that promiscous people didn’t deserve to heal. Reading this article and all of your stories is really helping me. Thank you so much for sharing.

Hailey
June, 2 2021 at 9:51 am

Hi Chris, I am Hailey (nom de plume for security). I am 52 and when I was in H.S. I was raped by over 20 boys on one night. The girls made fun of me; these people were supposed to be my friends. I don’t remember anything from the entire night, so I didn’t even know what they were making fun of me for. It wasn’t until 3 years ago that one of those boys apologized and told me what happened that night. Through my 20’s and early 30’s I was promiscuous, hooking up with any cute guy (some un-cute) that I would meet while out at the bar. I never wanted to get into a close relationship, but for some reason was crushed when we would break up after a couple of months. I would blame myself for some imaginary thing that I had done, or my personality, or something about ME - never HIM. I finally married my first husband at 33. It was great until he went off to war. When he returned, things were different, and we divorced. I met my second husband who I later found out was a raging alcoholic and an abuser. He began sexually abusing me a year into our marriage. After we moved, and he retired from the military things got worse. It was after I ended up in the hospital that I filed for divorce that I ended up in that “asexual” point you described. I don’t think I want to get out of that point. I feel like I am done. I am really sick, and don’t feel like anyone would want me anyway. I screwed up my face by picking at it and causing horrible scarring because of self-esteem issues. The only thing I have going for me anymore is my hair. LOL. A once vibrant, pretty, energetic girl has been reduced to me. I feel defeated.

endurer
January, 13 2021 at 7:38 pm

Im molested at the age of 4, 9, 12 by family member, uncle, and people my parents trusted (FRIENDS) and last my biological father, i dont have courage to tell the whole details ..its dicusting, it runs to my whole family, mom and dad side.(rape, molested) when i was 8 i started to have a sexual desire and i masturbate.. I dont like men staring at me, or just accidentally beside me like (public transportation or public places) it sounds over reacting but its true... im now married got 3 kids im discusted on how my husband wants me to fulfill his sexual desire...when he is touching me i feel like he is reminding me my darkest past.... I just endured it and he mocked me that we got 3 kids already and i should not react the way i reacted ... i want to save my marriage but I dont know how long will I endure this...BTW Id rather satisfied myself than doing it with anyone..

Rick
March, 3 2021 at 7:50 pm

My ex girlfriend was sexually abused by her stepdad from 10-14 years old. I'm the only person that she says she has told. I noticed that she always tried to be what I wanted her to be instead of herself. I divorced after my ex wife cheated on me so I'm sensitive to signs of dishonesty. I never assumed that she was cheating, but after reading this, and her having sex with me on the first date, I felt she might be addicted. I noticed that a man messaged her what seemed like a reply to her message on Facebook. I voiced my concern in a very calm manner (her ex was a cheater and abusive) and her response was to remove all male friends on Facebook. Recently I discovered that during that time they liked each other's profile picture. My spidey sense really kicked in. When I would catch her lying to me, she wouldn't defend herself or deny it, she would just say she was a terrible person and that I deserved better. I really want to know if she is a sex addict. She started therapy and I still want to help her.

A. Nonymus
October, 28 2020 at 2:38 pm

I'm not on here to discuss my story with anyone. I'm reading a self help bulk and in it I read that "[promiscuity] may be due to sexual abuse beginning at a later age, or other factors." Well, it's definitely not due to the first option then WHICH factors determine indicate whether a person will be sexually avoidant or promiscuous? If nobody on here knows then does anybody know who might know??

Niamh
October, 26 2020 at 4:16 am

Thank you for sharing this information. I'm just learning to heal in the way you have and knowing I'm not alone and ill be understood is of huge significance.

Not For Disclosure
March, 22 2019 at 11:19 am

Where do I start?
I was born and bread in a tiny rural village of very caring parents but we were pretty poor but in no way neglected. I used to play out with other kids and one particular boy who was 8 years older than me who went to a private boarding school and so would only be home at school holidays and the odd weekends.
He was keen athlete and I was thus very impressed with this and he started to teach me better techniques for running, jumping etc. He told me one weekend that it always improved his performance if he got rid of his "spunk" and asked if I would help him. I had no idea what it involved so I said yes; I was only 8 years old.
We walked across the fields to the banks of a local stream, and he took out his cock and asked me to start playing with and stroking it and that's where it all started. He was 8 years older than me and a fit and healthy 16 year old and I was very impressed with his cock; it was ofcourse much bigger then mine; a fact that i realised later would have massive effects on my self image etc.
It felt very exciting to me as my sexuality was starting to develop and I learnt to masturbate at a very young age way before I could ejaculate. I told no one of our secret although I can't recall any threats being exerted on me not to tell. I think I realised that it was very naughty and so I would not tell.
This carried on for nearly 2 years off and on during school holidays, etc, and each time we would repeat the process on most days when he was at home. Because he was much taller than me I virtually was looking straight down at his big cock in front of me and so when he suggested that I put it in my mouth I did just that very slowly to start with just kissing his glans, but then as he forced/encouraged me more I gradually I learnt to put it inside my mouth and ofcourse he would ejaculate in my mouth.
That was when the absolute shame started to overwhelm me; I was a boy who sucked another boy's cock, and my personality changed dramatically and I became that very shy and introverted young boy and full of shame at my body etc.
He asked me once when we were alone in his Mum and Dad's house (He was a local JP) if he could insert his cock up my anus; I refused as I thought that it would be way to painful but it was then that he told me that senior boys at his school would regularly get junior boys to do that for them. Still I resisted and it never too place. I often wonder what happened to those abused young boys and how enshrined in the school was that behaviour.
I put all of this to the back of my mind, and it is only recently that I have told anybody about it and ofcourse I now realise how it has shaped so much of my personality and my lifestyle.
Low self worth, very poor body image, I wouldn't dare make any sexual advances with any girl or woman until I was about 21 because of the size issue and it was only later that a girl that I met on holiday in Spain told me that I was spoiling her for other men did I realised that I really didn't have an issue.
I have no idea whether my early sexualisation impacted me or not but I have always since then been a lover of sex and I still am and am in a very loving and sexually active relationship. I really have allowed it to dominate much of my life and have soured many friendships by behaving inappropriately, and I still do more's the pity. I have however never ever abused any other person and have always been very conscious of not passing the abuse down the chain.
Strangely though I seem to have developed very caring and close relationships with women who have been abused or raped at critical young ages and I have always been a supportive and caring friend in their lives, and draw a huge amount of pride in that.
I still much prefer the company of women to men and as such have very very few male friends.
Not surprisingly I have a massive hatred of the private education system and know that wholesale abuse is the order of the day in so many such establishments but ofcourse never reported.

sarapelaya
March, 9 2020 at 4:17 am

my heart gos out to you as well as my deepest respect.i to was abusesed sexually so I understand what you endured.i want you to know you are brave and I encourage you to keep sharing you story.there are many people in the world especially today who suffer in silence.wich you an I know is very detremental to our emotionaly an mental well being.by you sharing your sexual abuse you know longer remain a victim but a victor.you motivated me to seek further councling for something I thought wasn't a problem anymore.but it is it has impacted personal relationships not to mention the relationship with myself. you are my hero an I thank you.i also want you to know that Jesus loves you very much I don't know what your personal beliefs are But ill share mine.God is amazing anHe has a way of divine intervention.this wasn't by accident I found yor bravery.in Jerimiah 29;11 saysfor I know the plans I have for you plans for a future and hope Amen.i pray for your complete healing and that the lord give you all the desires of your heart.when you were a child the devil silenced you but little boys grow up an you are a man.so you use that respected voice for God an its your turn to shut the devil up.i pray no weapon formed against you shall prosper in Jesus name.i pray GOD use you to help encourage an impact nations.use all satan did to try to destroy you for God glory.an may Gods warring angels be sent out to prtct you right now to guide you an minister to you.may his will be done in your life.and I thank God in advance for all these things ive asked.also remember forgivness is the key .that young man who hurt you was also hurting hurting people hurt others maybe God can use you to guide him to healing.god bless you you made my nite

Michael
April, 21 2022 at 9:46 pm

Sara ,you also are very bold and well learned in “The Word of God”’in that God Almighty is sovereign in all thing’s for He alone ln Christ Jesus” create all thing’s according to His good pleasure,and yes, created to glorify Him!;for our good…for the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God,and if that is not true,how then is it that we are now in “The information age… .”so much knowledge!,yet morally bankrupt!,that no one seem’s to know there left hand from their right,that some can say it may be right for you,but not right to me,as a nation we have gone way off our course,if we can not see the evil prevailing in our society,and call it good?.. .God will judge each one and unless we repent and turn our hearts back to God! and seek His Righteousness!ln Jesus The Christ! whom He has made both Lord and Saviour!we have no hope!,for is not mocked!,by those who repay good w/Evil… .if any of you,who would think for a split second that you can cause so much harm to a little one made in the image of God!,and escape judgment!Be sure your sin will find you out … .and so many little girl’s!… . as it is written it would be better if you had not been born,moreover having a millstone tied around your neck and be tossed into the river would be a better thing than you fall into “The Hand’s of an angry GOD!,Yes God is good and love’s righteousness but abhore’s evildoer’s.. .”Blessed Be His Holy Name! “for Christ Namesake!” Amen,amen

Anita
March, 9 2019 at 12:08 am

I continue to abuse my body at age 45. Jumping from abuse to abuse, lying, cheating, never being my true self. I binge eat. I'm now over 300lb and still climbing. I attract men without trying even bow. But each one will just continue to abuse. Ice distant my family as each one hurt me
My husband of 26 years demanded me to do things to my body and was attracted to something I could never be. My eldest son hates me as he learned of my sexual activities. I feel alone and like there is no way out for me. I've got a new partner but worry about how much I felt on him. I'm scared to be left alone. If I am, I eat. But at least it's not men now. Although that's only been 6 months. I had 17 men in one year. Being so bad that at one point I had one man on the sofa whilst another was waiting in my bed. I know I need help. I'm on a waiting list for my food issues but that's group therapy. I know I'll struggle. I would often feel it would be easier to just sleep and not wake up. I'm on tablets for that. I don't think I'll ever heal

sarapelaya
March, 9 2020 at 4:36 am

anita I want to tell you you are beautiful creation of Christ.i understand all your going thru because ive been there.im still in the process of healing.just know that you desrve to be loved for you unconditionally.an sounds like a problem I had I was afraid to be alone because I had been sexually abused numerous times I thought if a man wasn't touching me sexually I wasn't attractive because my granpa who I called dad use to touch me an I thought that's love I was molested at3 by a uncle at age 4 I was molested by a woman who did child pornogophy an then my grandmas husband then her boyfriend,i use to binge eat an I was over wheight as a child I suffered in silence .im 40 years old an barley working thru my past I to was aliar cheater but also as a child I was taught these things.by an uncle who had many woman so I learned at as young as9 years old.tragicly people don't realize the impact there wrong teaching have on a child but in fact they didn't know it was wrong themselves.thats why people like you an I Anita have to break that cycle.how you do this is this cut all your men losse

Chris
March, 24 2021 at 4:53 pm

Anita, you are so brave to share your story and I want to thank you because by sharing, you are helping me. I am healing so please know that it is possible! My love goes out to you. You deserve to experience what it feels like to love yourself, I wish with all my heart that it you get there.

K
March, 1 2019 at 9:55 pm

I was sexually abused by my father when I was young and then at critical times of growth after that. I have trouble forming relationships, am very much alone with no friends or children. I have withdrawn from almost everything except my job. I live in fear and paranoia and having trouble finding help. Beginning to feel that the daily struggle is pointless and a total failure. Any help would be appreciated.

Cathy
June, 11 2019 at 11:10 pm

First I just wanted to say what happened was Not Your Fault.Secondly, love yourself and others will too.I understand that this is a lot harder to do than say.You just need enough hope for the next day.

Jasmine
February, 9 2019 at 9:28 pm

I was only abused once, at the age of around 9 or 10, by a 16 year old neighbour who still lives next door to my father to this day. I was lucky in that I had a very supportive mother and an attempting father, but the trauma still stayed. I had a few anxiety attacks throughout my teens, intermittent counselling to help with them, but a recent episode means that, ten years on from the incident, I am back in counselling and about to begin EMDR. In the last few months I have become quite promiscuous, and I always thought I owned it but the realisation that it could be part of my trauma scares me - like it’s not something I’m in control of. I do use sex to equate my self worth sometimes, and it could just be my age but I fear it’s this ... hoping the EMDR will help but feel so confused right now. I know there is no way of knowing whether it is just me or my trauma that affects my behaviour but I wish I knew.

Chloe
February, 8 2019 at 10:57 pm

I was raped by my next door neighbor and his sister when I was 6 they would play sick games with me...they were too young at the time to know what they were doing apparently and never got prosecuted Iv had to grow up having to see them all the time, the boy continued on to rape my little sister when she was four which I caught and he’s raped several girls Iv grown up with! Still never prosecuted!! My little sister is now 18 and is terrified of contact with a male, she’s still never kissed anyone and I ended up going the opposite way... I buried it for years and got into a lot of trouble growing up always wanting to attract older men and always sending pictures of myself to random people...Iv slept around and had others sexually abuse me...I ended up going through a period of party mode abusing drugs and staying out for weeks on end...the only way I feel any kind of love or affection is through sex or sexual acts...I’m 21 this March and I’m on the heaviest antidepressants they can give me, i feel hate and disgust for myself everyday for what has happened..I just want to feel alive again!! Reading your post has helped me to know I’m not alone ???

Sonia
January, 8 2019 at 11:46 am

The more I open up to my boyfriend the more I wonder if I was sexually abused as a child and I just blocked out that part of my childhood. My memories of my youth is spotty. But I do remember telling stories to my friends about sex as early as 6.
As a young adult I was very promiscuous. Even now as an adult, I have my moments. But lately my sexual request has him asking why. Thankfully he's very patient and understanding. But how would I know if childhood sexual abuse is the reason why if I don't remember.

Brittany
May, 12 2021 at 5:15 pm

I have no recollection of my childhood either but I was a very promiscuous child starting at age 13 after I was raped by a 19 year old. The weird thing is, my fantasy is about rape. Thays what I think about now while having sex with my partner or even doing it solo. I re live all those moments I was taken advantage of and it turns me on. It is truly disturbing. I don't know why it happens ans it makes me wonder why I don't remember my childhood. I just want to know what happened to me...
I am sending you so much love... its hard to heal from things you cannot remember 💔

Sport
February, 1 2022 at 10:15 pm

Wow.. similar I get turned on by rape and abusive sex and its sick I know! I've been molested by my brother for years growing up and lost my virginity by being painfully raped and assaulted several times, which led me to be very promiscuous in my teens and very early 20's and have very little self worth. I found myself asking a man to choke me out sexually to the point I almost passed out and got turned on by it and I find myself watching abusive porn and BDSM. I don't understand why when I hate those experiences. I don't know whats wrong with me.

Eh
December, 20 2018 at 10:11 am

I just read an article about a female teacher involved with a 14 year old Male student. She is obviously pedofile. I was 14 when I became sexually active, I had a crush on my music teacher and ended up him bed. I felt shame, it led me to another pedophilia person, who took advantage of me. Sex became a way for me to numb the pain. I never had the idea of how to involve with male in true intimate way, so I continued just having sex, and was my only way to involve with males. I was then raped, I sought justice in all 3 cases. My life revolves around relationships right now. I am rebuilding my healthy self esteem by going to college and raising my two kids. It's hard to not share with my 13 year old daughter. I go to therapy and do it all. It's a long term damage and very shameful to admit and discuss. You have to however with aprofecional until you cry about. That's what will bring up change. Don't be afraid to cry about it to someone trained to understand. Don't be ashamed to admit to a trustworthy therapist. We deserve forgiveness for the damage we have done to ourselves and others participating in our dysfunction. There is healing. Discuss it until you can feel confident to share ever detail and feel the pain and cry it all out. Only then you will feel relieved. Not just by sharing that that happened as a matter of fact.

Michael
April, 21 2022 at 7:46 pm

Yes,you do my sister and all you who have been led astray by “The Evilone!”the murderer and a liar from the beginning “Satan the accuser!,Trust ln The Lord Jesus!,who came to seek and to save sinner’s as you and l,who beleved that we could find peace in any other but “GOD!,”The Son The Savior!ln His Name we have life! and life more abundantly.. . Ever,Forevermore.. .Amen,amen.. .

Al
December, 18 2018 at 7:21 pm

So I'm a man, I was sexually abused by my older cousin at age 10 for like a month, he was in his mid teens.
As a 10yo boy I was interested interested in sex and his abuse came at a time of curiosity so I didn't feel abused for a long time, but that started a downward so spiral in promiscuity first looking into porn at a couple weeks later which developed into an addiction, I have gotten over it... kinda, I still watch way too much porn but I learned to balance it in a way it doesn't just suck my life away, started hanging out more, planning my day to do other stuff etc. But at 22 I'm still a virgin and I think the impression of his then gigantic looking phallus really gave me a bad image of myself that only recently I'm starting to overcome thanks to my drawing hobby which makes me study anatomy.
I first started to really feel resentful towards my abuse when I was around 16. By that time a lot of my friends already had girlfriends and in my boredom and free time I had gotten into Underground porn so fucked up is illegal in some places not even for the sake of sexual pleasure but rather to be able to say that I saw it like if it was some kind of medal, so my friends are bragging about fucking their girlfriends and all I can do is shut up, speaking up would be either laughable or disgusting and I realized I had nothing to socialize with.
To make matters worse as she revealed later my mom was sexually abused as a kid, flatout hated it and thinks porn and people who watch regular porn are disgusting, "the talk" with her was as textbook as you can get, so me including the fact that I did not hate my abuse thought she would despise me so I haven't told her until now.
I did abuse my little cousin early after my own abuse and unlike my older cousin I got discovered and punished, blaming my older cousin didn't even came into my head because for my 10yo mind I had liked it and the discovery so I never thought that what my older cousin did was bad.
He actually lives near me, I could literally walk to his home and confront him... but I don't, in the opportunities I've had to do so I can't, no because of fear but because while I feel frustrated, and cheated on... I don't feel angry, I never did, besides I don't think it'll help me solve my problems anymore than I'm doing right now, the other thing is that when I see him I see another man, he has a job and a couple and is happy and including what I just admitted I did do my fair lead of bullshit as a teen yet I don't feel like the same person so I really don't care enough to do so.
And my younger cousin he recovered leaps and bounds ahead of me, that's what really bothers me, he's had girlfriends, social life, entered a career almost at the same time as me and is aiming high, so I'm not mad or anxious or depressed, just confused and cheated: Why was me the one stuck for so long while my abuser and my victim became better people than now I can aim to be.

Terri Dotterer
December, 5 2018 at 3:15 pm

How do you get self worth, self esteem, self anything positive when you don't remember having it or how it feels?

Cyn
December, 17 2018 at 5:28 am

"Only in Christ have I found relief."
It's not an easy solution it's a committed decision.

Terri Dotterer
December, 5 2018 at 3:09 pm

My name is Terri and I joined the military at a young age of 17. I wanted to feel proud serving my country. During bootcamp I was raped by my drill sergeant and was so afraid I didn't report it. Not long after that at my first duty station I had a man try to rape me and I fought with all my might for what seemed like hours. Throughout my time in the military I was a victim of sexual assault and never reported it because I was a minority, I felt like it was a mans world and reporting it could get me a quick dishonorable discharge. I'm now 54 and through all the years of trying to drink away my past and going through permiscous behavior self destructive behavior, I'm now trying to save the rest of my life even though I feel like it's too late and I'll die alone with no one to love me for me. Maybe there's hope but I do know that serving my country also destroyed me

Anonymous
October, 7 2019 at 8:11 am

Thank you for sharing Terri, it’s very courageous of you.

Anon
November, 20 2018 at 6:44 pm

Hi I am writing this post because I have been engaging in counselling for different issues and the subject of my earliest sexual encounters came up. I spoke to my counsellor about my first sexual encounter which was at thr age of 14 with a family friend who was 35, my counsellor was shocked not only by the fact that a 35 year old was having sex with a 14 year old but the fact that I was so blazè about it and said it as if it was a normal thing. A family friend was at a new years eve party in my parents house there was lots of loud music everyone was drinking it was a good night I was used to my mother's friends telling me how good looking I was and if they were 20 (or 30) years younger they would snap me up it was just something these women said and it was innocent and non sexual so when this certain family friend started saying things like this to me I shrugged them off and just laughed but as we continued to talk it became more apparent to me that she was serious. She had consumed quite a bit of alcohol so I thought maybe it was the alcohol talking she asked for my number and I gave it to her. The next day I had almost forgot about what had happened the night before and just put it to the back of my head until I got a message that afternoon asking how I was I didn't have the number stored on my phone but she confirmed that it was the woman from the night before. We spoke for a bit and she had asked me to come to her apartment that night to talk, I'm not going to lie I was very excited about the idea, anyways I agreed and later that night I was In her apartment she offered me a beer I took it and another one and another one we listened to music she was sat on the kitchen counter I was really nervous then all of a sudden she pulled me toward her and started kissing me she then literally dragged me into the bedroom and undressed me and performed sex acts on me and sat on top of me I was in shock I didn't k ow how to feel it felt so good but I knew it was wrong. After that night we kept in touch and it continued to happen. Over the next number of years, she always told me to keep it between us etc so I did. The thing is it had become so normalised that I didn't see anything wrong with it I enjoyed it so I didnt think it was wrong. It was only after she ended things between us when I was 17 that it hit home that my life had been changed that very first night we had sex because when things ended between me and my abuser i started looking for the same thing I started being very promiscuous sleeping with as many people as I could I always need to be desirable sexualky to someone because if I wasn't I felt terrible about myself I had very low self esteem that only sex could make me feel good about myself. I would of had sex with anyone I didn't necessarily care what they looked like I didn't have feelings etc etc it was just the act of sex no strings attached sex I found it hard having relationships I always managed to fuck them up I was very emotionally damaged and I brought that into every relationship I have ever been in. I was always looking to push boundaries always wanting more I even sought out other men even though I wouldn't consider my self gay or even bi (but clearly I must be right,) I would meet up with men please them and then leave no names no swapping numbers just do the job and then onto the next one. I have always had serious problems with being faithful with women I've been in relationships with and I think that stems from my early sexual experiences I was to young then to experience what I did sexualky and it has totally warped my idea of sex. My girlfriend has recently found out about my past and more like my present I had been messaging people both men and women I met up with some of them and I have always wondered why I do the things I do why I seem to be so sexual so selfish so confused I am just wondering does this make sense can my adult sexual escapades really be that affected by what happened to me when I was 14? Also the woman in question didn't have sex with me against my wishes I willingly had sex with her does that in any way diminish the fact that I was actually abused? I mean because I did enjoy it so maybe it wasn't abuse? I have always felt that there was something wrong with me something inside me that's not right I would just like some advice on whether or not what I said could have effected me in later life thanks

November, 21 2018 at 8:55 pm

Hi,
First I want to tell you that I'm very sorry for what happened to you. That woman was wrong on every level, and yes, it makes total sense that what happened to you at 14 affects you today. I understand all too well how you can second guess if it was abuse because you enjoyed it or sought it out. I have often felt the same way, but the thing is, as kids (and yes, at 14, you were a kid) we think we have some great power because we attracted someone much older, but the sad truth is, we never had the power. That woman took advantage of you.
I am in no way a therapist, but I am the survivor of sexual abuse and work with survivors and will tell you that yes, what happened to you was abuse and most likely does affect your perspective about sex today. That relationship taught you sex was love and sex gives you value, so your young brain connected the two.
I'm glad to hear you're in therapy. I can so related to that feeling of always thinking something is wrong inside. I lived my whole life feeling that way until I finally sought help and now I can see the truth of what happened to me. The good news is with help, you will begin to understand the impact of what happened to you on your life now and you will learn to value yourself so that you approach sex with a whole new perspective.

Tia Hollowood
October, 7 2018 at 4:50 pm

Donna, thank you for sharing. Our stories are similar in that we were abused by “family” from a very young age, and not believed. I never reported, but I know my abusers are no longer a threat to anyone (one is dead). If I thought otherwise I would report as well.

Mthollis
October, 7 2018 at 7:57 am

Me too. I want to be part of this site.

Donna
October, 3 2018 at 4:18 pm

I was abused from the age of 7 until 15 by my older step brother
it happened so many times. When a neighbor reported to my parents that something was going on and heard me screaming for help, he was believed when he told them it was just horsing around. I was grounded for a week for screaming and bothering the neighbors. I tried to fight back another time but was choked unconscious, after that I stopped fighting back, it became my normal. I was constantly being told he was the good one, and he told me I would never be believed. I knew this was true and he had already proven it.
I hit puberty at 12 and was impregnated, forced to lie to my parents under the threat of violence then forced to have an abortion. I never told the truth to my parents or other family members. (still haven’t). i actually overheard a my Step mother on the phone refer to as a harlot. so that is what i became! By 17 I did drugs, danced at strip clubs, and hung out with bikers. I let guys do whatever they wanted to do with me. One night at a biker club party they passed me around to several of the club members. I didn’t even try to run away, I just accepted that this is what was expected of me.
Eventually i got married and had kids so I could be a “normal” person but I married a cheating jerk and became even more depressed and withdrawn. Not promiscuous. but severely depressed.
At 22 i sought therapy for suicidal thoughts and attempts, and severe depression. The therapist told me that if it happened that much then it was consensual. SERIOUSLY! She then continued to further humiliate me by telling me it was not rape it was incest. (never saw her again).
SO I had zero self-worth, I had survived but i never really lived. Raising my kids was my only purpose, and my only joy. In my late 30’s I talked to a different therapist and just threw it all out on the table, she listened and did not judge, SHE LISTENED TO ME. She suggested I start seeing a psych doc for major depression. When I finally had the right meds, and the right therapist, I finally felt like a person. i Went to school and earned a degree in Psychology, got rid of the jerk husband an so on. BTW my kids turned out AWESOME!
Well I am 50 something now and I still have not “come forward” I have been able to tell some of my closest friends and a few in my family.
I really fooled myself into thinking I was past it, but… lately with all the political bullshit it seems to be haunting me again. For ME I still can’t “come forward” because some of my family members will believe I am just making it up, or even worse they will blame me. I know that sounds crazy, but they really will.
To be very clear If he was in the process of being nominated for the supreme court, I would come out. But for now, I will continue to remain quiet and take at least a little solace in knowing that he is a miserable person with a miserable life.

Susan
September, 17 2018 at 5:21 pm

I was abused from the age of 8 until 13 by an older cousin. I told my mom but since he lived with my grandparents I saw him every time we went to visit. I did get married but was not able to completely control the promiscuity. My husband and I went for counselling and I finally was able to talk about what had happened when I was in my mid 30's. Unfortunately my husband didn't believe that promiscuity could be a result of childhood sexual abuse. He never understood and continued to blame me, pulling away from me which just made things that much worse for me. I stayed in what was essentially an emotionally abusive marriage for 33 years, then when I was no longer able to work full time (I knew that to him the money I was able to earn was more important than the person I was), he left me when I was 55 years old. I am now 70 and alone but happier both with my life and the person I am than I have been in many years. It takes a long time to work through these things but coming out the other side stronger and happier is well worth it.

Tia Hollowood
August, 22 2018 at 11:54 pm

I was reading just today, that healing from trauma is a bit like a roller coaster. There are ups and downs but the only way through to "even ground" is to pass through them.
I think this is important because we place a great deal of pressure on ourselves to be healed. For me, that pressure makes everything else that much worse.
I'm sorry to hear that you are also dealing with a physical illness. I'm wondering if you've given thought to an online support group for physical health and/or mental health? There are several here:http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/find-support-groups
Most importantly, when we suffer, we need help. That's not weakness, it's reality. You're not alone.

Andrea
August, 22 2018 at 4:44 pm

I think their is something wrong with me, I was sexually abused at 3, I cant remember the man as i was so young, I was sexually abused by a different man on several occasions for 2 years, at the age of 10, I was raped by a man at 13, I was raped by my first partner and finally I was raped by a guy who lived local to me at the age of 26, yes I am now promiscuous, I think men only love me if I have sex with them, but what bothers me more is did my mum encourage my childhood sexual abuse, my mum physically abused me. Lately, because I have been struck down with a disability at the age of 49, I have been finished on ill health, I have too much thinking time, I’m self harming more than I have ever in the past, I feel so low and don’t know how to deal with all this pain in my head. ??

Shubna
August, 14 2018 at 2:27 pm

I have been a rape victim, once from my boss and repeated assaults from my ex. I then had three failed relationships where all three rejected me, but just confined to sex!
I have had sex with so many men after that. I don't know why I do that, but I just do. I do everything that is risky.
My life has changed a lot. I don't like working with people, but I am forced to as I gotta take care of myself. I binge drink and have random partner, many times, don't even remember the incident.
Therapy never helped.. I dunno how long it would take for me to heal. Am 37 now and even marriage scares me..

Tia Hollowood
August, 3 2018 at 8:58 pm

You are definitely not alone. I still wonder if anyone thinks I'm doing a good job even though deep inside my rational brain I know the answer.

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