I ordered this book to better understand my past, having been sexually abused when I was five years old by a teenage neighbor. I’m in the process of writing my experience into another novel, which I plan to publish under a pen name – lest I shock my current fans – that integrates my mental and behavioral experiences as a result of that abuse into a fiction element.
I’ve been searching for books to read on sexual abuse, so I ordered this one. Though I have sought some counseling myself over my past (I’m now 62), I found this book a confirmation in many ways of the eschewed thought patterns I’ve wrestled with throughout my life. The only factor that bothered me is that I’ve never suffered from bulimia, anorexia, or cutting myself, nor have I purposely sought out physically abusive relationships (only fantasized over such).
However, saying that my sexual violation has not changed my personality since I was five or driven my thinking patterns into unhealthy attitudes and low self-esteem would be a lie. It’s one thing to understand some of the more dangerous and hurtful behaviors directed toward self as a result, but I think the psychological effects of abuse, without all the other physical manifestations, are just as debilitating, such as self-hatred, shyness, depression, inability to accept love, inability to trust men, not being able to stand up for yourself or say no…the list is endless. The case studies were interesting and validated that what I’ve faced as a result of my abuse is typical of others. To coin a line in the infamous best seller right now about a man abused as a child, all I can is, “I don’t know any other way…this is who I am.” For some reason, I found that comforting. I didn’t ask to be cast into this mold. It was forced upon me.