Have I been a victim of child sexual abuse?

This question is tormenting me again, and more frequently lately (in the last 2-3 years). Before, when I asked myself this question, it was usually at night when I had trouble falling asleep, and after a few days the question disappeared again. I think that many times the question appears after reading a story about a child sexual abuse case in a newspaper. It came up strongly at the beginning of July, and for the first time I thought about talking to a person. I didn't, and I went on holiday, and after a few days cycling through the Pyrenees I stopped thinking about the question.

After the holidays the question has come back with more force since the beginning of August. This time not only at night, but now the question is present almost all the time, and I find it hard to concentrate on other tasks. I have started looking for information on the internet (in English, Spanish and German), especially how I can find out if I was a victim of child sexual abuse. Again, I am thinking about talking to someone else, and I have searched the internet for programmes/services to help men who are victims of child sexual abuse (which does not seem to exist in Seville or in Spain). I wrote to AMUVI in Seville, but they replied that they only work with women...

But - why?

This text is an attempt to organise my thoughts and memories.

 

1.

I can probably say that emotionally my childhood wasn't easy. In fact, I have no memory - not a single one - until I was about 10 years old (the end of elementary school), and then only very few memories. I have no memory of my first day of school, no memory of a teacher, no memory of a classmate, no memory of anything, at least until we moved when I was about 8 years old (and I had to change schools). The only memory of the next two years - of the rest of primary school - is that once a classmate congratulated me on my saint's day - which was a bit strange for me (my family was non-practicing Protestants, he was Catholic). Nothing else...

Then I switched to high school, and from here I have a few more memories, but very few of the first 2-3 years. I remember once responding to being teased by a classmate (friend?) with violence (I poked him hard with a pencil in his hand). Supposedly there were also violent events against teachers, and I was sent to the psychological service of the educational system. I don't remember anything about that, but I do remember my parents (I don't know if my mother or father - I think my mother), who told me that if I don't change, they would have to send me to a place for children with problems...

Another thing is that - until now - I never liked to see pictures of myself as a child, or to hear stories about me as a child or teenager - or more generally about my family's past. I remember that sometimes, when we started to look at the slides of a vacation, my mother wanted to see also the pictures of the times when the three of us were smaller. I never liked that... And until now, I don't want to hear anything about my childhood or more generally my youth until I left my parents' house, and especially not from my parents.

I also didn't like any physical contact from my mother, but I don't know from what age (I don't have any memories if my father ever did). I remember that my mother often tried to stroke me, and it always caused me a lot of upset, and I always tried to avoid it. This is probably when I was 12 or older... but I don't know since when.

Another memory is that sometimes when I was showering my mother would come into the bathroom and open the shower curtain. She asked me on those occasions if I cleaned myself well - especially "down there" (the genitals). I don't know if she ever touched me... We are probably also talking about at least 10-12 years old - not when I was little.

I don't have any memories of my father - neither bad nor good.

[Update 10/08: actually, I have no memory of any family life events - even when I left home. I know a few facts: we went on vacation to this or that place, for example. But nothing else. No vacation (from the time I was 15 years old I stopped going on vacation with my parents), no birthday, no Christmas, or anything else. No happy or sad events - or fun. Absolutely nothing in 20 years.]

 

2.

I never had a lot of friends. Like I said, I don't remember anything from my primary school. I don't remember much from junior high either. I remember that during the first years the high school was in some temporary buildings, and from this time I don't have any memories of friends (from 11/12 years old). It was the period of violent events...

From the time when the high school was moving I remember a friend and that we walked together during the break times in the school yard. I remember that probably more because we were teased by (many) other students.

I had to repeat a class (I don't remember if it was 7. or 8.), and then I had a few more friends (I was 13 and older). There were 3 or 4 of us. However, when I was probably 14/15 years old, I suffered homophobic harassment from those same friends frequently, even though I was not yet aware of my sexual orientation. But I couldn't participate in the macho jokes and pranks, I couldn't talk the same way about women, I never met the expectations of masculinity, and that probably caused the homophobic harassment. It never happened when I was alone with one of those friends - only in a group (that's probably why I don't like to go out in groups very much... I prefer to meet one or two people when I go out).

 

3.

(...)

 

4.

Relationships.

I did not have many affective and sexual relationships - in fact, only three. One factor is my difficulty in trusting another person, the problem of physical contact, a fear of rejection and perhaps low self-esteem.

(...)

Generally, I do not feel a sexual attraction to a stranger on the street. For me, this "sexual tension" does not exist. Sexual attraction only develops when there is already another relationship with or interest in the person. I don't think I would be able to have sex with a completely unknown person - my second (one-night) relationship was possible because we already knew each other before (...).

Obviously, I have sexual desires, and I practice masturbation quite frequently. My sexual fantasies during masturbation almost always include men (no specific person). Lately (in the last 3-4 years), the fantasies are more "brutal", and I imagine many times that I am penetrated more or less brutally by several people in those fantasies.

[Update 11/08/16: Lately, because I'm thinking a lot about the question, when I start masturbating or stimulating myself, the image of a child appears (no face, not identifiable), which is not exactly stimulating. The kid is in a bed with blue sheets, and he has shorts. The image continues and the pants are taken off - you can't identify in the image who takes the pants off - there is nothing of other people present. The picture ends at this point. I write "picture", because I don't know if this is a product of my fantasy or a memory. It's hard for me to think of other images that make it difficult to masturbate]

 

5.

Given this context, why do I ask myself if I was a victim of child sexual abuse, even though I don't have any specific memories or recollections?

(...)

(...) [One year], I was still living in Germany, I was passing by train via Duisburg on a journey from Oldenburg to southern Germany. The train line passes very close to the street where we lived during the first eight years of my life. I don't know why I remember the location of the street (in fact - the name of the street and the house number), but nothing else. I thought "why don't you get off the train at Duisburg station and go look at the house? I didn't, but this thought caused me enormous anxiety and a strong heartbeat.

And I think since then I ask myself more often: what happened in this house?

Until now, whenever I imagine going to look for the street and the house, I feel a strong anxiety and a strong palpitation. It is really the idea of entering the street and walking towards the house that causes me those emotions. [Update 10/08: I always imagine going from a point on one side of the street. I really have no idea where the street ends on the other side].

(...)

I wonder:

  • What happened in this house for the first eight years of my life? Sexual abuse? Another kind of abuse?
  • If anything, did it end when we moved out when I was eight, or did it continue?
  • Were the violent events mentioned above (against teachers in the early years of high school) a consequence of something that happened before (more than 4 years before, in "this house"), or of something that was happening at the time?
  • All the other problems mentioned (and also: thoughts of suicide, anxiety, fear of abandonment, ...) fit "well" with child sexual abuse, but they can also have other causes.
  • Before, when I asked myself that, I thought more of a woman as a guilty person - this has changed in the last few weeks. Now, when I think about it, I think more of a man. But there is no specific man (or woman).
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