Psychiatrist Questions Child abuse

I was sexually abused as a child and now as my marriage is approaching, I am beginning to freak out. What should I do?

I am 29 years old and I was sexually abused as a child by my maternal uncle. I have never had a boyfriend as the memories of the past continue to haunt me. I am now due to get married and it is an arranged marriage. I am freaking out at the thought of this. Is there anything that I can do to calm myself down?

12 Answers

Please talk with a mental health professional.
Did you have a chance to know your future husband? Take it slow, analyze, give yourself and him time to to know each other, talk to your friend or have a few sessions with psychiatrist
See a well-trained mental health professional for psychotherapy. This can make the difference between happiness and failure.

Jan Fawcett, MD
do not get married. get progressively more affectively and physically involved and if it works well get married, if it does not, dont. At this time you are running toward a disaster that will worsen and solidify your worst memories
I am so sorry. Is your fiancé aware of the abuse? I would recommend trauma focused CBT.

Thanks for your question. I would suggest starting psychotherapy as soon as possible. Sexual abuse can leave profound emotional scars. I want to assure you that it is not your fault. You deserve to live a full and happy life, it is up to you to get the help you need. Hopefully, your spouse will be supportive of you and might even agree to go to marriage counseling if you decided that is necessary besides the personal psychotherapy.

Yvonne Hall, MD
The memory of previous sexual trauma which has not been resolved/healed is being triggered in anticipation of your forthcoming marriage plans. This is an indication for you to get psychological healing of the traumatic memory through psychotherapy. Through therapy, one can learn to deal with the flashbacks (remembering the trauma triggered by external events or situations that remind you of the original traumatic event).
Through therapy, you will be able to achieve inner peace and a healing perspective on the traumatic event and on your own strength and abilities to cope so that you can move on with your life and not feel "haunted" by the memory of the trauma.
Yes, do therapy to process your history of trauma.
I am so very sorry to read that you are in this very unfortunate situation. Being the victim of incest make one particularly prone to PTSD and then arranged marriage in this situation was going to make you freak out. No one can blame you for that.
I think that you should meet with your Fiancé' more than once and talk about different things to get comfortable and then tell him about the past unfortunate experience as well as the level of your comfort in terms of getting intimate after marriage. If you don't feel comfortable doing it on your own, you may want to get help from a professional counselor who can facilitate meeting between both of you.
Nonetheless, I believe that it is necessary that "genie" is out before marriage so it doesn't cause any complications afterwards.
Sometimes, Antidepressant/Antianxiety medication could also be useful during the facilitation process.
Hope it will be of some help to you. I fully understand your situation and empathize with you and wish that I could help more than that.
I recommend that you see a therapist who specializes in EMDR. This form of therapy has been shown to be very effective in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This seems especially true for people who have experienced sexual trauma.

It would also be beneficial if you and your future spouse were involved in couple’s therapy. This could facilitate communication, and help provide education to your future husband regarding the initial difficulties related to intimacy.

There are medications which might also be helpful initially to reduce anxiety and intrusive thoughts. These are sometimes beneficial early in treatment, but the mainstay will be the work that you do in psychotherapy.

I wish you much success.

Try reading Introduction to Internal Family Systems, or find a therapist on the center for self-leadership website, or someone who practices EMDR. Meanwhile, yoga, breathing, and meditation can help ground you.
If that incident has such a strong impact on you, it will be really hard for you to get in close or intimate with your spouse. You should start treatment including medications as well as therapy soon to help you.