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Childhood Rape Is Preventing Intimacy

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From the U.S.: I’m 17. I was raped by my older brother until I was 9 years old and I can’t seem to get over it. I’m in a semi serious relationship right now, but I haven’t even kissed him yet because I’m scared to. When I was raped I was forced to kiss him and I hated it. The taste, the texture, everything was disgusting. I haven’t kissed anyone since not to mention I haven’t done anything else.

I hate everything about intimacy because it brings back horrible memories. I don’t even like touching people/them touching me. Every time I think about sex it just makes me cringe and sends me to a dark place. But I don’t want to be like this my whole life. I want to be in a normal relationship and be able to give myself to someone I love. I don’t know how to let go of who happened to me so I can start over. I’ve forgiven my brother, but that doesn’t mean that the incidents never happened. How do I let go? Are there steps? Anything? I just want to put it all behind me but I can’t.

Childhood Rape Is Preventing Intimacy

Answered by on -


Thank you for writing. You’ve suffered far too long with this on your own. Your reaction to your experience isn’t unusual. And you are right: Forgiveness alone doesn’t make the effects of trauma go away.

There is treatment. A therapist who specializes in sexual trauma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can help you reclaim the ability to be in relationships that is rightfully yours. Please talk to your school counselor or doctor and get the names of therapists who work well with teens.

I’m so glad you want to deal with this now while you are young and have so much of life ahead of you. Please follow through and give yourself the gift of putting the past where it belongs so you can have love and intimacy in the future.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Childhood Rape Is Preventing Intimacy

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Childhood Rape Is Preventing Intimacy. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.