Pain of Childhood Sexual Abuse

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am in so much pain. I look at my life and noticed that I’ve lost. I have 27 distinct personalities. Mom and Dad decided to have people rape me over and over. I came here from another country and we were poor, so it was ok for Mom to sell us to men who wanted to rape little kids. I was 6 months old and I remember this old man hurting me. I came out of my own body and went into moms and I watched him rape me through her eyes and I felt the pain and everything that she was feeling, since that day my life would be as I needed it to be. I am 55 years old now and I don’t know which way to turn. People can’t figure me out.

A: Your story makes me furious and sad. No child should ever be hurt like that! You did what many people in your situation do: You survived by “leaving.” The challenge now is to bring everyone back together so you can live your life. Yes, you lost a lot of years. But that is not a reason to lose the rest of them. You could live 20 – 30 more years or even more. It’s worth it to do the work to have the life you want.

You didn’t mention whether or not you are in therapy. I certainly hope so. There are therapists who specialize in treating people who have split off from themselves as you did. All those sub-selves can be reintegrated or, alternatively, they can learn to work together to support the primary self. Look for a therapist who is experienced with the trauma of childhood sexual abuse.

Remember that you are a survivor. You survived unspeakable horrors as a little kid. You have what it takes to do your therapeutic work.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Pain of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/13/pain-of-childhood-sexual-abuse/

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