During my years of psychotherapy practice I met many female patients who reported being molested when they were small children.
In most cases these psychotherapy patients reported similar types of memories of the molestation: Were molested multiple times over many years. Remembered that the molestation did not necessarily involve full vaginal penetration but remembered their genitals being rubbed under their clothes and penetration with fingers.
Many but not all of these people came from homes dominated by domestic violence and abuse, alcoholism and divorce. Many of these now adult women also shared similar types of problems and difficulties in their personal lives that brought them to treatment.
Interestingly, the memories of the abuse was not the catalyst for seeking psychotherapy. Here are some of the shared problems and reasons for seeking therapy:.
These histories often included being with men who were abusive although they were reported to be "great lovers sexually. Deep feelings of depression with suicidal ideation often set off by a recent failed relationship.
Within the context of an intimate relationship they often displayed sudden outbursts of anger and rage. Amazingly, they reported feelings of guilt in connection with the abuse primarily because of the memory of genital pleasure.
Many were shocked to learn, in psychotherapy, that they have every right to feel angry at the perpetrator. In one of these cases the woman sheepishly stated that she was happy to hear the he died.
Learning that those feelings and thoughts were perfectly all Aroused guy abusing himself came as a great relief.
Many of these women reported sexual difficulties.
These difficulties ranged from not being able to achieve orgasm to engaging in casual sex with strangers while exposing themselves to sexually transmitted diseases and personal harm.
What is truly insidious about the sexual abuse of children is that they are strongly motivated to want to please adults whose care they depend on.
In the cases where the pedophile is a member of the family or a close family friend, children are very vulnerable. They want to feel loved, accepted and approved of.
The pedophile exploits this vulnerability without any regard to the harm they are doing. The fact that this type of sexual abuse is non violent greatly complicates the mental health of the individual as she enters adolescence and adulthood.
The fact that the perpetrator was a family member or friend and there was no violence, contributes to the confusion and guilt felt by so many of these survivors. The reasons why these women experience interpersonal difficulties is due to the fact that their trust was violated at a very young age.
Family instability and drug addiction did not compensate for the sexual abuse. I do not know the actual statistics of sexual abuse committed against girls and women. However, generally speaking, the numbers are horrifyingly high.
As a psychotherapist, father of two daughters and a member of civilization, this topic troubles and worries me greatly.
If you are a survivor of child abuse of any kind, help is available.
In addition to psychotherapy, there are self help groups for women who experienced the same or similar traumas. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the MentalHelp.
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Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. With that in mind, would you like to learn about some of the best options for treatment in the country?