When I heard of my friends being molested back in the 90’s, I had always felt so much heartbreak for them. I understood what it might have been like. At those times, I felt how lucky I was to have never been sexually abused. I remember myself saying, “Thank God I was never molested”.
Then in my 40’s, my memories started coming back and from then, I started having flashbacks and am still having them today. They are there to help me heal so I am grateful for them.
I am saying this because one means in which we survive our past, the most common of all is denial. And not just denial, but denial of being in denial. And denial of being in denial of being in denial. When the memories and the feelings are too much for us to handle, they will stay repressed. I would wager most of us die without even knowing what happened to us as kids because we just cannot handle the reality. The child had to forget to continue on and we don’t generally find out the truth until our souls leave our bodies at death.
Another reason sex abuse might stay repressed is due to shame because another part of ourselves is still blaming ourselves for the abuse. It is a cliche to self-blame following childhood sexual abuse. Our bodies respond biologically to the abuse as children giving us the illusion of faulthood causing shame so strong it cripples us into the deepest states of repression. This is why the rage is also repressed as once we start letting it out, we risk the memories returning. Intellectually, we know the abuse wasn’t our fault, but as far as the inner child is concerned (the subconscious aspect of ourselves), it was our fault. So long as the inner child continues to self-blame, so long as the sex abuse remains repressed.
“I had a great childhood” is very common for trauma survivors to say. That too, has become a cliche. I know two people who said they had a great childhood and how loved they were when it turns out their memory is selective. We remember the good to drown out the bad. Living in the opposite keeps us from facing reality. Not because we are bad but because we are just not ready to heal and face the emotions and memories just yet. In order to be ready for the truth of our past, we have to have a strong body, a strong support system, and a lot of time on our hands. Most are forced to quit their jobs to do the work not because of choice because we might all get to a point where we hit all wall and we no longer have a choice.
To sum up, we can never make the assumption we haven’t suffered sexual abuse and we cannot assume for others as well. It is a cliche that people think they weren’t sexually abused and then one day, boom, the memories return as they have the space to hold for them and the healing journey about to begin.
Lastly, it wasn’t your fault. You had no choice as to how your body biologically responded. It is the molesters greatest weapon to keep you enslaved. Your anatomy did not betray you. Your body is perfect. The shame and faulthood is on THEM — not you. You did NOTHING wrong.