Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this past episode of sexual abuse.
Abuse of any form is never acceptable, and could become very traumatic even after several years after the concrete event. When it is sexual, it uses to be overwhelming, even more if it happened during childhood, when people have not yet developed nor learned necessary coping mechanisms and insight to effectively face such violence.
sorry, Rafael are you still responding to my query?
Many people who suffer of sexual abuse as children, do totally forget / repress the episodes as a way to protect themselves. Sometimes the intellectual memories remain but the emotional charges from it remain repressed
I have spoken to a psychologist about it and she has reassured me that considering the circumstances these thoughts will enter my mind but it doesn't mean I will ever act on them. I know right from wrong but I feel guilty about these thought that just creep into my mind sometimes
Your experience does show you were traumatized by the abused you suffered, and it does not show you would become a perpetrator yourself.
so whilst I may have residual damage from the episode it does not mean I would ever be capable of hurting a child
Did you work on processing the abuse episode with psychotherapeutic support?
at the time it happened, no and I have not sought therapy until recently but that has been for other childhood trauma ie finding my mum deceased at 12 and then losing my father at age 17. I have not had thoughts about anything relating to that particular incident for years but just recently I have become worried that it is resurfacing. Would your advice be to continue to seek therapy and also how honest can I be with my current counsellor considering the stigma attached to this particular issue in our society?
I am very sorry to know about your loss. and to know you did not get necessary support when you needed it the most. Then you faced a lot of grief during your childhood, and nothing tougher than facing the death of your parents as a child.
For sure I do totally support psychotherapy if possible better than counseling to work on your healing process, and please be sure that without you feeling truly comfortable with the professional supporting you, and being able to be totally honest and open towards her-him, the therapeutic process would not be possible. There are many bad professionals in the mental health filed, that's why I understand and support your concerns around prejudices and stereotypes affecting professional judgment, this is why you need to take time to assess how competent, ethical and experienced your therapist happens to be for you to get the support you need and deserve.
The fears and experiences you report are common for people who were in your shoes, and that's why adequate psychotherapeutic processing and healing are so important, otherwise different mental health disorders could develop, from depression to anxiety conditions, personality or relationship issues and more.
It's tough, most times overwhelming, since this is about something you do not want, look for but find yourself experiencing, very conflicting and literally something that torments your mind and life, this is why delaying adequate therapeutic work is not wise.
well I am seeing her on Thursday and will bring it up with her - without the proper help I don't feel this is a problem that will fix itself. I thank you for your time tonight and also I am not working at the moment so I have a lot of time of my hands to dwell on my thoughts so to speak. I have suffered from all of the above disorders that you mentioned and am on anti-depressants but my psychologist is a cognitive behavioural therapist so it might be that I need more intensive therapy
I understand and support you. It's really sad and frustrating to find yourself feeling this way. CBT is very useful approach but lacks depth necessary for effective, integral therapeutic processes, that's why I always recommend a more eclectic or even better, integral therapeutic approaches in order to get the best possible support, where the therapist adjusts herself and interventions to you and your needs, instead of adapting you to her rigid and limited outlooks.
It's very good to know now you get the time, willingness and means to commit to your healing process, please to stick to it until yo find a goo therapist and effective support, leading to concrete changes within yourself and in the reality you shape from thoughts to actions moment by moment.
I definitely want to get better and get my quality of life back. Your advice has been very helpful, so thank you and you have managed to reassure me that with the right help, I am a normal person and not the bad person I sometimes think I am.
I am very glad to know this has been helpful. I do confirm what I said and feel hopeful about you and your healing path. Please take gentle care, being unconditionally gentle, understanding and supportive with yourself, and take consistent actions to shape the reality you need and deserve with the right support.