Child Abuse Victims and Intimate Relationships

by Richard
(Florida, USA)

Child Abuse Victims and the Ones Who Love Them as Adults: 
I found this site as I researched the effects of childhood sex abuse when they become adults. I have been involved with a woman (I'll call her Kay) for some time now. She was sexually abused by her stepfather from 12 to about 14 years in age. Kay is now 45. The man was finally discovered and Kay's mom did nothing except put him out. They reconciled and he was allowed back into the home, where he abused her again for a short time. She has 2 sisters who were also abused by this sicko. Both are very dysfunctional, both are addicts.


Kay left the home as soon as she was 18, went to college, moved to Florida, and she is passionate about her health (almost weird about it). I love this woman and see such wonderful qualities in her. She has such problems with intimate relationships. She left her kids with her ex-husband then they were around 7 and 9. As older teenagers, they really do not want to stay with her or do things with her. The boy refuses to stay over at her house at all. She does all she can now to make up for lost time, but it is very strained between them. She has had no successful close relationships with anyone that I know of. All of her relationships seem to be strained and full of drama.

Kay has had many emotionally unsatisfying relationships. In her younger years she was more sexually active that I care to reflect on. Although I love her very much and treat her with warmth, love and friendship she seems to be always pulling away. She says she loves me so much, but I can sense something missing, and it feels wrong. We have gone to a lot of counseling, and just when I thought we might be on to something, she announced that she was really too busy and really could not go further.

I teach emotionally disabled kids and know that sometimes all is takes is one person reaching out to make another want to save themselves. An you suggest any books on the topic?

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Comments for Child Abuse Victims and Intimate Relationships

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Mar 10, 2009
Effects of sexual child abuse...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Richard, I understand where you're coming from, but there is a great deal of difference between reaching out to emotionally disabled children who because of their resilient nature are still "reachable", and reaching out to an adult with understandable trust issues because as a child she was physically, sexually, emotionally and neglectfully abused. I'm not saying that Kay is unreachable; but because of her age, her defense mechanisms have become a way of life (survival actually) that are wholly ingrained in her.

As a child, Kay learned that SHE did not matter; she learned that her mother's needs were far more important than her own; she learned that mothers allow a child molester who has already molested her child to come back to re-molest; she learned that trusting men has serious consequences (founded in her case, unfounded in life overall); she learned that men are molesters (not all men are, but the man in her life was); she learned that she was alone to deal with the most heinous things a child could live with; she learned that no one in her life could be trusted. These were skewed lessons, of course. Not all men are molesters, nor are all mothers so self-absorbed that they would willingly offer their daughters to a sex offender. Kay has been very damaged by the series of criminal acts that were committed against to her. Will she ever come to trust you? I cannot say. She is definitely emotionally and intimately crippled at this point. And though you reaching out to her IS most certainly a testament to your caring and loving nature, and your commitment to this woman is what most women dream of, only SHE can seek out the help she really needs. Understanding from where she comes is important for you, but if you intend to stay committed to Kay, you also have to accept that she comes with a great deal of heavy baggage that she may or may not be able to let go of.

As for books, I cannot recommend any one in particular. If this is something you really do want to read about, I suggest going into your local bookstore and perusing the appropriate section on the subject matter. Perhaps some of my visitors who have experienced something similar may be of help here as well. Thank you for sharing yours and Kay's story with my visitors and me. Doing so clearing shows how the effects of sexual child abuse are life-long. I do wish you both all the best.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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