Saturday, August 7, 2010

Child Abuse, the Impact: Fear of Intimacy

Being abused in a sexual nature as a child has impacted me on many levels as previous posts have demonstrated.
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Self Worth
Fear of intimacy is tied into all of these others. Getting close to someone makes one vulnerable. It opens up areas of one's soul that are sometimes scary to reveal.

I am not just speaking about physical intimacy, but emotional as well. To be intimate with a friend, lover, spouse, entails letting them see the ugliness beneath the nice girl image. By letting them hear about the pain, you are opening a door that can be really scary to someone that has not gone through it.

They may not understand why it happened, or the choices you had to make during and after the abuse. They may not totally get why you are or are not okay now. It may be something that they cannot get their thoughts around and it just may be too much for them to handle.

And that in itself is why it is hard to let someone completely into your heart:
  • "What if they leave?"
  • "What if they take advantage of my vulnerability?"
  • "What if...?"
I have told my story to a lot of people, through speaking engagements, this blog and talking with friends.

Sometimes my story is too much for them to handle and they leave. Sometimes they don't.

I have really only totally opened up about my abuse to a few select people. Most of those people have been professionals in the Mental Health industry or people in the group therapy sessions. There have been a few others along the way that have heard the whole ugly truth, those are the people that I have become truly intimate with on an emotional level.

I am blessed to have those special people in my life and I am so glad that I let them in to see the real me, scars and all.