Question re SA affect on you ... (trig?)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Question re SA affect on you ... (trig?)
Fri, 05-30-2003 - 10:43pm
Hi gals.

I'm sure there are lots of new folks here -- I used to post a while back under the name Purple_Pansy.

I've been dealing with my depression (non-SA related) for the last 8 months or so.

But I have a question for those who have gotten somewhere down the road to recovery.

Did you used to believe that the abuse you suffered affected your current day life. Yet, after some therapy you realize it's not having as much of an effect as you thought it did?

Granted, I'm not cured and finished by any means, but I've always said / thought that the SA I had to endure made me who I am (excusing the bad stuff -- it's not my fault, it's his for doing this to me).

But lately I'm wondering if there are other reasons. Or that it might play into who I am, but it's not as important as I always led myself to believe.

OR, I guess the possibility also exists that we (my T and I) just haven't gotten into the nitty gritty and I haven't recognized the obvious effect it had.

I have no idea if this even is making any sense. I hope so!

Hugz to all!


f/k/a Purple_Pansy

co-CL of the Soap Dish board on

Stop by and rant/rave about your fave soap!

Edited 5/30/2003 10:44:28 PM ET by tia_mia


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Sat, 05-31-2003 - 12:19am
Hi there, Mia (I still want to say Pansy)!

I'm kind of the opposite from what you describe; I repressed my memories and feelings for most of my life and didn't understand why I reacted the way I did to certain things or why I felt so different from other people. I have ADD, too, recently diagnosed--and that certainly is a part of it--but since addressing the SA, my life has made more sense. I had put a lot of pieces together already, and acknowledging the SA and seeing how it affected me early on was like completing the puzzle.

The biggest factor I'm dealing with right now isn't the SA itself, but dealing with the ongoing saga of my mother's impact on my life. There were many times I "tested the waters" as a child to see if it was safe to tell her about the SA, and I never felt that it was. I would ask her questions like, "When you were my age did you ever. . ." and she would yell at me that how dare I compare myself to her or imply that she ever did anything like what I described. This was at the age of FOUR!!! From that age on I felt dirty, and that affected how I saw myself. Right around that time or a little after she caught me at naptime stimulating myself, and from then on I "had a problem."

I really relate to Opal's poem describing mother's rage. Sometimes I hate her as much as it is possible to hate someone. How any mother could label their little four-year old as dirty is beyond me. I look at the innocence of my 10 and 12 year olds and it blows my mind how much I knew at such a young age. I think that the SA definitely provided a LOT of confusion and damaged self-esteem, but I was also abandoned emotionally by my mother, and she verbally beat me down constantly. She's still a pain in the touche to deal with sometimes, and sometimes I don't want to be around her simply because of feelings that I have. I see her as being very hypocritical, and probably will never feel that I can completely trust her. She has what is called a "Toxic Personality"--you can get to where you feel emotionally close to her, and then just when you think things are fine she can turn on a dime. I think she has tried harder over the last year, but there is still some guardedness on my part.

I believe that SA definitely plays into who we are, but it doesn't define us completely; at least, it shouldn't. However, it feels like it does when you hit a wall and have to deal with flashbacks, etc.

Hope that kind of answers your question! It's kind of hard to verbalize what I feel sometimes.

Glad you stopped back by!

Love, Heidi


co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Sat, 05-31-2003 - 2:24am
I think my situation is similar to cl-breakinfree's. As my recovery progresses, I find more and more ways the abuse affected me. Sometimes this makes me angry, like I can't have a single thing of my own, even a part of my mind. But it's all mine now, and I figure it's like quilting. I started with some scraps, and let's see what I can make out of them. That part's up to me!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 05-31-2003 - 8:59pm
I like your analogy of a quilt. I don't think there is anything that is truly "new". Only new ways of putting the same old stuff together.

I think that everyone in the world whether they have been victims of SA or not, are products of their past and their families past. My chore is to overcome the bad effects of the SA and the plain old dysfunctional family and -please God - change the family cycle. I wonder what happened to those who treated me badly to be able to act the way they did, and hope that I'm not carrying it into the future.