Someone, Please Make it Stop

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I’m not sure what to say…I feel like I’m going crazy…. I can’t stop reliving my past in my sleep. When I was…young, I was raped on a regular basis by my only guardian (he was not related) and occasionally sold for his self gain……….I thought I could grow out of these nightmares where I remember everything so vividly, but they’re becoming more frequent……….

My boyfriend doesn’t understand………he pretends to when I break down and cut myself, but the subject doesn’t make sense to him at all… And I’m confused there as well… My boyfriend and I started because of drunken lust but now I’m stuck with him…he can be sweet though…I still feel like my body is what he wants more…it’s always all for him when we have sex…

I don’t know if I can learn to love being used. He gets more and more frustrated with me as I become thinner…he’s threatened to hurt me if I don’t eat, though I’m not sure he’d carry that threat out, It still caused a wall to rise between us…nowadays, I only see him when we’re in bed (if that) or when he catches me hurting myself (which turns into yelling and tears) even though we’ve lived together for quite sometime now…I don’t know what’s wrong with me…

Please help me…


A: Thank you for reaching out to us here at Psych Central. I am glad you brought this issue to light.

First, let me say that if you are not in therapy that this is something you should make a priority now. The find help tab at the top of the page will help you find someone in your area. This is critical because the changes you want to make in your life will require support outside of the relationship you are in.

You dreams are reminders that you must deal with the trauma of the past. They are recurrent because the issue is important for you to make a priority. When there is an unresolved betrayal in our earlier life there is a risk that the same dynamics will be repeated later with other people.

The guardian was supposed to protect and care for you, but was only using you and your body. You have described a similar dynamic with your boyfriend “…I still feel like my body is what he wants more…it’s always all for him when we have sex…”

The goal isn’t for you to learn to love being used; but to love yourself enough to stop.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral




Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Feb 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Someone, Please Make it Stop. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 28, 2015, from