Dating someone who was sexually abused as a child

"It's very hard to be a partner with someone who has been sexually abused as a child," says Janice Palm, executive director of Shepherd's Counseling Services in Seattle. Based on this early lesson, he may instinctively avoid closeness as an adult. Emotionally distant When a child is abused by a person he trusts, Palm says, he learns that intimacy is dangerous, that attachment will hurt.It's as if he's not there.") Often, young victims learn to disconnect emotionally to get through the abuse.Sexually compulsive The fallout from abuse may manifest as promiscuity or sexual addictions like looking at pornography. Hypervigilant A man who is unusually overprotective of a son or daughter may be expressing what he wishes a parent had done for him as a boy.This behavior may intensify when the child reaches the age at which the father was abused.

I know she has low self-esteem and seems bent on pleasing everyone, but I had no idea how deep some of her issues were. As we got down the road, she did relate to me that she was recovering from eating disorders - anorexia and bulemia. Palm, whose center runs one of the few therapy groups in the country for partners of sexual abuse survivors, describes a pattern of behavior with the telltale sign of pervasive unavailability.Sexually absent Many survivors lose interest in sex completely. (Partners will complain, "He's very loving and attentive, but when we start to get sexual, he just goes blank.She explained further that she is afraid she will never be able to love anyone because the fear of losing someone might make her want to hurt herself, so she seeks out meaningless, uncaring relationships.Then, in almost the same sentence, she tried to accuse me of lying to her over something extremely inconsequential - trivial, to say the least. She said she couldn't trust anything I've said to her, which of course, is not true.

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