Home » Ask the Therapist » Relationships » Sexuality » Possible Sexual Abuse; Could I Be Repressing the Memories?

Possible Sexual Abuse; Could I Be Repressing the Memories?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I know that this sounds really weird but I’ve always had this feeling that something like this has happened to me and lately I’ve been thinking back to when I was younger and I’ve notice so many signs. I have barely any memories before the age of 6 it’s like those years are completely blank except for bits and pieces. Most people are able to remember more things at a much younger age than I’m able to. I remember I started masturbating very very young and I would do it at inappropriate times because I didn’t know what it was, but somehow I knew how to do it. It makes me sick to write this because of how messed up it is, but sometimes I would try to get other people to do ‘things’ with me because somehow I thought it was just a normal thing, like a game. I know now that it wasn’t normal at all but I thought it was natural then, I don’t even remember how I knew about those things. I also have this random vivid memory of seeing blood in my underwear and my private area hurting badly. It was way before I started my period, I was no older than 5. I had a lot of accidents as a kid and wet the bed often. I also was terrified to sleep on my own. My mom would have to sit with me until I feel asleep and if I woke up in the middle of the night I would call for her until she came back and sat with me until I fell asleep again. I’m currently 16 and still can not sleep in the dark on my own. When I’m having a sleepover and there’s other people in the room I’m okay, but being in a room alone with the lights off terrifies me. I’m also very uncomfortable with anyone seeing my body naked, most people my age have some sort of sexual experience but I have none because the idea of someone seeing my body makes me mortified. I developed anorexia (which I’m now recovered from for the most part) and have depression, and anxiety (which I still struggle with). I’ve also experienced dissociation, and I fantasize a lot, about just living as someone else or having a different life, more so than an average daydream. More to the point where I feel as though I’m living it. As long as I can remember saying no to anything is uncomfortable and difficult for me to do. But I have no specific memories of anything happening to me and I feel like if something like this we’re to have happened I would remember it. But then I also wonder, it can’t be normal to have such a gut feeling that this has happened, these things must mean something but I discredit it because it just seems unreasonable to believe something happened when I have no memory of it.

Possible Sexual Abuse; Could I Be Repressing the Memories?

Answered by on -


Thank you for having the courage to talk about these symptoms. One way of understanding what is happening is that, for whatever reason, you are having these symptoms. While I understand why you would think there may be repressed memories the only way to sort these things our is with a professional.

Let your mom know that you want to talk to a therapist — that you are having a number of things happen that are making things difficult for you and that you would prefer to talk them over with a professional. Hopefully your mom will hear your request and honor it. If this doesn’t work you can speak to your school counselor, or call the local woman’s center in your area and ask them to help. Because you are 16 you can also call this hotline to get information.

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

Possible Sexual Abuse; Could I Be Repressing the Memories?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Possible Sexual Abuse; Could I Be Repressing the Memories?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 4 Jan 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.