I think my mother molested me, and I’m wondering if I should get an evaluation for PTSD once I leave for college. My mother is very controlling has never set boundaries with me, she would insist on being in the bathroom with me to watch me change or use the toilet, if I tried locking the door I’d hear her pick the lock and get in. This was extremely distressing and scary for me as a kid, she’s also very touchy and keeps touching my pelvic and butt/thigh area which makes me feel disgusting and afraid of her.
She never gives me any privacy and always walks in on me changing and stares, and slept in the same bed with me until I was 15. She would also “fix my posture” by forcing me against a wall with her body and attempt to touch my private parts repeatedly. I’ve always known what sex/sexual organs were since I was 4-5 years old and don’t know where I learned it from.
I have frequent breakdowns in front of my mother and she either accused me of faking it or smothered me. My father has also groped me and it makes me furious, if they touch me I feel like I’m being violated again and break down in tears.
I’m constantly on edge and have nowhere to feel safe. If I try to stop them and say how much I hate it, they both tell me I’m being weird and that it’s my problem, for years I believed they wanted to rape and kill me.
I become extremely irritable and enter fight or flight when anyone touches me or looks at my body, the mere idea of gaining weight and being physically helpless or sexually appealing makes me break down in tears. The horror and disgust is so intense I internalize my anger and self-harm.
At age 15 I became extremely depressed and attempted suicide, I’m currently diagnosed with depression and psychotic disorder but never told anyone about my parents because I thought they would say I was delusional. Ever since 6th grade I became very paranoid, socially isolated and depressed, always avoided thinking about it, and barely slept because I was afraid my parents would touch/kill me in my sleep. Please I need to know if this is not normal, I don’t know anymore. Should I seek help?
From the USA. I am so deeply sorry that you’ve had to endure all of these abuses from your parents. I admire the courage, persistence, and resilience you are displaying by bringing this issue forward at this time. You are ready to get some more help on your journey.
All of the things that you’ve mentioned, the lack of physical, sexual, and emotional boundaries with your mother, and the inappropriateness of your father’s actions and similar lack of boundaries that accompany it. What is clear from this description is that you did not have any support for your concerns and lived in a toxic and unsafe home. This wonderful article by Deborah Jackson at LifeHelper explains the impact of something known as ACEs Adverse Childhood Experiences. There is a direct link between these experiences (which you have had according to your email) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and something known as Complex PTSD trauma.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with its intrusive thoughts of memories of the trauma, flashbacks, and or nightmares; or the difficult to diagnose, Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), where the symptoms of a PTSD have had an impact on one’s personality or identity could be overwhelming, but to have each of their powerful impact balanced and evaluated in trying to come to a type of stability and balance is exceptionally courageous.
ACES were found to increase the risk of:
• Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• Fetal death
• Health-related quality of life
• Illicit drug use
• Ischemic heart disease (IHD)
• Liver disease
• Risk for intimate partner violence
• Multiple sexual partners
• Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
• Suicide attempts
• Unintended pregnancies
• Early initiation of smoking
• Early initiation of sexual activity
• Adolescent pregnancy
• Lung cancer
I am mentioning these things as a way of saying that the symptoms you’ve identify fall squarely within the range of know symptoms coming from these experiences. You’ve taken the first step in writing us here—and the next logical step is to have an evaluation so that a more comprehensive approach to treatment can be developed. The time to act on this is now.
Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan’t sound viable