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Jude's avatar

How has abuse (of any kind) from your childhood affected your life as an adult?

Asked by Jude (31980 points ) June 1st, 2011

Trust is a biggie for me. Lack of trust. Also, I am often skeptical of men that I met and get to know. What are their intentions/what do they want from me?

If you feel comfortable sharing, please, do.

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32 Answers

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’ve been trying to write a response for this for 5 minutes. All I can say is that I hate organized religion.

Ajulutsikael's avatar

I have trust issues. My sexual appetite is huge and strange, I have horrible anger issues, I yell a lot, also when someone gets stern with me I automatically start crying. I can’t look at a wooden spoon without thinking of getting beat.

AshLeigh's avatar

I might be a little more violent than I should be.
I’m afraid to mess things up.
It’s hard to trust people.

Vunessuh's avatar

Abuse from a family friend has affected the relationship I have with my mother.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It’s made me stronger.

picante's avatar

Definitely—in both positive and negative ways. I was sexually abused by an uncle, and while part of that experience has impacted my relationships with men, I believe that my ability to fight off his ever more agressive advances (when I was only 11 or 12) and finally narc on him made me a much stronger person. This is not the path I’d recommend for overcoming shyness, of course, but I often think of the experience in this oddly positive light.

I had huge issues with my father, as well. I would generally classify these as emotional distancing, as he was unable to attach emotionally to anyone. Again, this has affected my ability to bond with men. I am fortunate that I did have a really good male role model in the family to bring some balance to this equation.

Age often brings wisdom, and years of living, learning, observing, and being in therapy have helped me overall. But childhood wounds are deep. I think the deepest wound I carry is my endless, aching need to be loved by an emotionally strong man—loved in a way that might not be realistic.

marinelife's avatar

It has affected my sex life.

Jude's avatar

Unfortunately, for me, it was from a family member. I still see him and talk to him, but, I would’t say that we are close (I don’t want to be, and it’s never going to happen).

Even to this day, even though we are both adults, the way that he (my brother) talks to me is quite different than the way that he talks to my sibs. You see, I am the baby (youngest of 4 – ages 39 to 49). He is 48 and I am 39. He still talks to me as though he has something over me. My sister sees it as well. It’s fucked up.

One of these days, I am going to call him out on it. But, for now, I usually just tell him that I don’t want to talk. A few times, I have told him off. :)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Like @marinelife said, it has affected my sex life. I wasn’t “directly” abused, but a few random things happened that shouldn’t have happened and, in my childish mind, I felt violated. I have a lot of sexual issues because of that.

I also recently realized a few things about my bio dad’s behavior, and it has really disturbed me. He never intentionally did anything remotely sexually abusive, but some of his behavior seems to be akin to emotional incest. Because of that, I feel edgy and slightly creeped out when I talk to him on the phone now.

Blueroses's avatar

I don’t trust anybody who likes me. There’s something wrong with their motivations. This isn’t a smartass quip.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I only like you because you have pretty tits roses.

wundayatta's avatar

I have never believed I am good enough. My father constantly would talk about this dream in which I, as a baby, was labeled a genius. Then he made it clear that I had failed. He never praised me that I can remember. It’s probably not abuse in most people’s minds, but it’s a kind of neglect.

I’ve done a lot of work in therapy, but the idea, deep inside me, that I’m no good is difficult to dislodge. In relationships, this has caused me to push away partners before they could leave, since it was inevitable they would leave when they found out I was no good. In work, I’ve stayed a long time at jobs with low pay, just because they would hire me, believing it’s a fluke and no one else would pay me. These would also be jobs where no one ever told me I was doing a good job.

Sometimes people say I’m a good writer, but while I might believe them, in that deep place, I don’t, because I never try to do any writing for sale. No one would ever buy my writing and even if they did, I’d never get anything done, so there’s really no point. I’m not an individualist kind of guy. I can’t think of anything on my own. I’m only able to think if someone asks me a question. So I hang out in a little backwoods, off-the-beaten-track part of the internet answering a few questions, hoping that it might mean something important to a person here or there. Sometimes people actually do say that something I said helped them. It’s a novel experience. It’s hard to enjoy. I just don’t really think of myself as being competent. Often I think it’s a trick.

But sometimes I can get beyond this horrible sense of no-goodness and actually appreciate someone else’s appreciation. Sometimes I do feel accepted unconditionally, without judgment, knowing all my failures. Sometimes I almost half believe I’ve helped someone in an important way, just by being me. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.

iLove's avatar

My fundamental ideas of how to be loved are forever screwed.

Started abuse as a pre-teen through my mid-teens when I ran away. Now that I am 35, I can clearly see the pattern. I have changed but now that my father is sick, he wants to abuse me again.

I tend to fall in love with people who can’t really love me back, much like my parents who neglected me, ignored sexual abuse, and abandoned me when illness struck my mother.

I actually found myself saying to my semi-boyfriend (who can’t fully love me right now btw) that “this is my fundamental understanding of love – to not be loved”. It’s a sad place to be, when all you really want is to be loved.

I would love to go on for many more paragraphs but my pain is all too recent, and all too familiar

OpryLeigh's avatar

I think everyone has an ulterior motive, I find trusting people really difficult and I struggle to believe that people may actually like me and not find me irritating. I have to say though, I am much better than I used to be. I have started finding it easier to make friends and trust people enough to maintain a healthy friendship.

tinyfaery's avatar

I hate being touched. I flinch at any loud noise or sudden movement. I used to have anger issues and I treated men like shit for most of my dating years (with men). I am very closed-off and shy. It takes work to get the real me. I’d like to think I’m worth it.

Jude's avatar

You most definitely are worth it.

KateTheGreat's avatar

It still hurts me greatly today.

As a child, my mother beat me and burned me with cigarettes, called me worthless, and told me that she never wanted me to be born. She even tried to kill me a few times when I was a small child. My father and a few other family members molested me for many many years. These things have made me afraid to be in relationships and afraid to trust people. At times I still feel worthless and those memories play over and over in my head.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think I have at times been driven to succeed and to do better and I am sure this is related to my childhood. I suspect there is a part of me that is still seeking my father’s approval. I don’t think I was ever the favourite (and perceived other’s to be the favourite rightly or wrongly). I think I have always felt a little like the outsider. Given my father is no longer with us, might need to get over seeking his approval…

Bellatrix's avatar

Right now I just want to give you a huge hug @KatetheGreat. I hope you know how amazing you are.

aprilsimnel's avatar

The trust thing was a big one, as was dealing with someone else’s anger and not taking the blame for that anger, which I was induced to do when I was growing up. My aunt dint’ want to own her feelings or take responsibility for anything, so I ( and to a smaller extent) her son got the blast from the furnace for a lot of stuff that we had nothing to do with.

Can I trust people to so what they’ll say, especially if it’s something like “I care about you”? Do people want something form me? Am I going to get hit? Can I handle other people’s anger and not worry about being hit or abandoned?

Symbeline's avatar

Stuff that went on when I was a kid, I suspect, is what has contributed to my severe shyness problems I’ve had to deal with for most years of my life. I did get over it, mostly, but I’m still pretty timid.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I just want to go on a psychotic killing spree and run down everyone who’s hurt you jellies!

Hugs and chocolate all around!

Bellatrix's avatar

:-) the chocolate and hugs have to be healing @WillWorkForChocolate.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Bellatrix Honest to God, I really wish I could send cyberhugs and chocolates to everyone. This thread makes me sad and angry.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, I was teased mercilessly all throughout my school years. I also considered most of my teachers to lack understanding of how to teach an exceptional student. The days were so repetitious that I asked permission to cut my attendance to two days a week, but the administration couldn’t allow that. The teachers allowed me to read library books when I demonstrated that I already knew the subject matter.

I home schooled my sons and grandsons.

SpatzieLover's avatar

In all sorts of ways all of the abuse still controls many of my thoughts. I constantly try to improve how I think of myself and how I judge others.

It still affects my trust, emotions, sex life, how I chose to raise my child, who I allow into my life, family I refuse to speak to…my list could go on & on. :(

AshLeigh's avatar

I still remember the lonely days. When all I really wanted was for my father to love me the way a father loves his daughter.
“He loves Erikah, Morgan, Justin, and Jason. What’s wrong with me? Why does he hate only me? Why am I the one he throws things at? Why does he hit me? Did I do something wrong? There must be something wrong with me…” As a small child these were constant thoughts.
I feel that he’s to blame for a lot of the things that have happened between us. I know it wasn’t all him. I know I was wrong. Leaving him for reasons that we couold have solved. But he always walked around like he didn’t give a shit.
He thinks two years of waiting for me is such a big deal? I waited my hole life for him to actually want to be my father. He didn’t care about me, until I stopped caring about him… Now he wants “his baby girl” back… Yeah right. “Don’t you see, Father? Can’t get it back if you never had it.”
I guess I’m just angry. The things I’ve said are absurd. Just the remnants of my heart ache…

angelique_1's avatar

Abuse, even though its in the back or your minds, it creeps up in your everyday life at sometime or another.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m with you @WillWorkForChocolate. Let’s fetch our shovels. God, this is soooo heartbreaking. @KatetheGreat…. Hugs and more. You’re awesome.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

That’s right- I have experience with murder now. Gimme a shovel and point me in the direction of the nearest abuser.

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