I’m having a terrible, relentless panic attack.  I’m having very vivid dreams and although so far none of them have been about the incest of my childhood…I’m afraid that’s what will come next.  I’m so terribly scared that I will not be able to handle remembering things that my mind has kept locked up all these years.  I’ve shared with you all that I have remembered, but I’ve always known my brain has kept so many of the details from me.  I’m in a hell that I think is reserved for those of us that have been incested.

After the period of my flashbacks and nightmares, I suffered from intense depression and anxiety.  It caused me such pain that I finally saw a therapist.  I told her everything I told you and she put me on depression and anxiety medication.  I saw her for three years and we tried so many medications during that time.  She finally despaired of helping me and told me I was no longer able to work and should go on disability.  The paperwork for applying for disability is a nightmare and in my state of illness, it took me a month of constant work to complete it.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.  I had to do small sections and then sometimes redo them and the sections were never ending.  It also required a memory that was much better than I now had.  I did my best and sent it out.  It was approved.

Being out of work relieved much of the pressure in my life, but it did not cure the depression or anxiety.  I decided to try a different doctor.  I was agoraphobic, which for those who don’t know, is a condition that makes it extremely hard to leave the house.  I was terribly afraid of being outside and afraid I would have a panic attack in front of people and be taken to the hospital.  Going to the doctor was the one thing I did during this period of months.

I went to a new doctor and spent a long time telling him about what had happened in my childhood as well as the adult maladies I suffered from.  His diagnosis shocked me to the core.  He said I was bipolar, had ADD, ADHD, severe depression, acute anxiety and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  My mind was overwhelmed and I felt like I was in shock. The doctor told me that all these problems stemmed from what I had been subjected to in my childhood. He wrote me quite a few prescriptions and I remember standing outside of his office feeling like I was crumbling.  I couldn’t take it all in and I didn’t want to believe I was that ill.  I went to that doctor for a year and a half while he prescribed all kinds of antipsychotic medicines for me.  It was a nightmare.  I was constantly having hallucinations, hearing voices and seeing familiar objects change.  For instance, I watched little lights swirl around the room.  I kept telling the doctor what was happening and he’d change me to another medicine.  The next medicine would have its own set of side effects.  I was literally going between my bed and the coach and was useless around the house.  I couldn’t get up the energy to take a shower so it would be a week in between them.  I was afraid of the shower too, so that didn’t help.

At this time I moved to another part of the state and began to see another doctor.  I wanted to get a fresh look at my condition, so I didn’t tell her the diagnosis of the other doctor and she saw me a couple times before giving me her diagnosis.  To my dismay, she told me I was bipolar.  She, however, was a doctor who believed that the fewer pills the better and tried to stay away from the most extreme medicines.  I was with her for a year and did not have the side effects that I had previously.  I still had the disabling depression and anxiety.

I dream of rooms contaminated with feces and urine.  I believe this ties in to my feeling contaminated by what my grandfather did to me.

I dream of flying.  My mother in my dream told me I’d been flying since age 5.  I fly mostly down staircases.  I see myself hovering over the stairs as I fly.  If only I’d really been able to fly when I was young, I could perhaps have gotten away from him.

I look in the mirror and covering my face and my whole body are scars from being cut with a knife.  I start screaming.  After waking I realize that the scars are internal and no one else can see them.

Falling books, books falling…trying to climb up book shelves, but books keep falling and I can’t get a grip.  My legs are giving out.  I feel sick and I’m looking for someone to help me.  I am very sick, throwing up, unable to stand up.  I am lying on the floor of an arena and there a people above looking down.  I’m trying to yell to the people to help mebut

It is very hard to write about my 49th year.  It was the year that my brain decided it was safe to release some of the repressed memories of my youth.  They came in the form of nightmares which occurred almost every night for months.  My mind chose not to unlock memories of my grandfather actually molesting me, but instead all kinds of nightmares that pointed to it.

One nightmare was me being chased in my hometown downtown streets.  I was running from someone as fast as I could, out of breath and terrified.  I felt as if I would die if they caught me.  I saw a old school bus at the corner of a street and for some reason thought I might be safe in there.  I made it to the bus and tried to catch my breath.  I went in as fast as I could and I was alone.  I looked at the back end of the bus and saw it covered with blood.  I saw that I was crushed flat against it dead.  It was like I’d been molded into the steel with a horrified expression on my face.  It was too much to bear and I woke up covered with sweat, shaking and crying.

Another dream I had that was especially horrifying concerned my grandfathers house.  My grandparents had a two story house and they sometimes rented the second story and other times it stood empty.  I remember I was trying to hide from someone and running as fast as I could.  Not knowing where to go to get away, I ran up the outdoor stairway to the upper flat.  There was nothing in it, but a bed in the middle of the living room.  I was so scared and sick to my stomach.  Then I heard footsteps coming up the stairs.  I panicked…where could I hide.  The footsteps were getting closer and I tried to get myself under the bed and I did, but I knew that whomever was coming would find me there and drag me out.  I woke up with a start, crying, shaking and scared.

These dreams haunt me to this day.  I will write about other dreams in my next entry.

Tags:  nightmares, seeing myself dead, being stalked up an outdoor stairway


It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at my blog.  I was amazed at the number of people that have come here looking for answers and I hope I have helped.  Your response humbles me.  Thank you so much.

I don’t think I’ve addressed what’s happened to me as an adult as a result of the abuse.  So, I’ll start out.  My taking of drugs to bury the pain began in my teens and went into my early twenties.  As I left college and started working, I no longer took drugs. I threw myself into my job and just pushed my feelings down inside myself.  I buried them again

It worked pretty well until I was in my mid 30’s when I began to experience OCD, Obsessive Compulsive disorder.  It took over my life for 10 years.  For those of you who haven’t experienced it, it is an awful way to live.  My first symptoms were an extreme need to wash my hands to avoid contamination.  I felt as if I would get a disease whenever I handled something that might have germs on it.  Which is just about everything!  It manifested itself when I had to open a door knob, so I used my clothes to open it for me.  If I saw something red in color I imagined it to be blood and it scared me to death.  Whenever the soap dropped in the shower I had to wash it off obsessively until I felt at ease that it was clean again.  The private parts of my body had to be cleaned many times.I dreaded showers because they took so much time away from my life..

There were so many things I had to deal with as a result of OCD.  Before I left home I had to triple check that the stove was off and that I hadn’t left the iron on.  I had to lock and unlock the door three times before I was sure it was indeed locked.  I was still afraid that my house was in danger so I had to circle the block three times and look at my house to make sure it was okay.  Three was my number.  Everyone who has OCD has a certain number of times they have to do something before their mind would be convinced that it was done.  The hand washing hadn’t gone away.  I washed my hands every day until they were red and raw.  All the time I’m trying to hide all of these behaviors from everyone, including my husband.  I thought I was going crazy and had no idea anyone else was going through these problems.  I was still in the deep need to save all animals and insects, so I walked around ants and took any insect outside my house and back outdoors.  When it rained and the worms came out of the ground I had to pick every one of them up I saw and put it in the grass so no one would step on it.  I sometimes I saw people watching me doing this, even my school principal, and I felt humiliated.  But that didn’t stop me, my compulsions were stronger than what people might think of me.  I was living in a rural area where a lot of bird hunting took place.  So many of the country people had packs of dogs they hunted with and some of them would get killed in the road.  Every time I saw one, I had to stop and look at it to see if it was still alive.  This was on my way in to teach school and I had to allow extra time for my trips.It was the same for any animal I saw on the side of the road I had to stop and see if I could save it.

I was in a constant state of anxiety.  There are more behaviors I demonstrated, but I can’t remember them right now.  Everyone who has OCD as different triggers for their behaviors. They may be different or the same as mine.

Finally, in 1990, I was watching television and saw a special on something called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  It was like watching myself and I knew for the first time that this behavior had a name and other people were going through it too.  I felt better, but it didn’t tell me how to stop the symptoms except to go to a doctor.  Now you may think I would run to a doctor right away, but there were two problems.  One was my overwhelming shame and the other is that I was seriously considering becoming a missionary and I knew OCD would prevent me from doing that.  I suffered with it for five more years until I realized it had taken over my life for so long I had so choice, but to do something.

The doctor was very understanding.  He was familiar with the condition and gave me medication to help.

I can’t begin to describe the next year.  Little by little I saw all my OCD behaviors going away.  It was like peeling an onion and the layers coming off.  By the end of the year I was completely free of OCD and was free to live a normal life again.



Whether the behavior changes are sudden or gradual they must addressed and understood.  These changes include a wide range of conduct including:

-Aggressive/boisterous behavior- hitting, pushing, yelling at others, throwing tantrums…any of these can be the result of holding in the confusion, fear and anger caused by incest and releasing it on others around them.

-Isolation-wanting to be alone,  uneasiness/anxiety around others, hiding behind a loved one, hiding in closets and other small areas, running away,

-Sleep problems-fear of bedtime, anxiety about being alone in a room, nightmares(especially of being chased or seeking a place to hide), bed wetting

-Site Anxiety/Fear/Avoidance-fear of a particular place or room in home…often bedroom, bathroom, attic, basement or cellar, garage, shed or other area where the incestor has more privacy and less chance of being discovered

-Extended Sadness/Depression-especially if child is unable to explain why they feel the way they do,  the “secret” of incest is too heavy to bear

-Religious zealousness-person absorbs themself in religion to the point of obsession

-Unusual bathroom habits-refusal to defecate(may sit on floor in bathroom to hold bowel movements in), hiding behind fixtures, soiling themself with feces

-Avoidance of individual/certain activity-if a person shows anxiety or fear about seeing someone or about going anywhere alone with that person, making excuses to stay away or pretending to be ill

-Early age masturbation-especially compulsive behavior or masturbating publicly

-Play Behavior with sexual overtones-holding dolls in sexual positions, speaking for dolls using phrases or words that are not age appropriate

-Low self-esteem-feelings of worthlessness,  saying they are a “bad” person, but not being able to say why

-Inability to swallow pills-if a person is unable to take a pill orally when it is common behavior at their age, it may be a resistance to oral activity tied in with the fear of forced oral behavior during incest

-TMJ-initials for trans-mandibular jaw disease-very painful condition where jaw moves into unnatural positions or unlocks…this may begin as a reult of the mouth being forced open

-Cruelty to animals or insects

-Self-Injury-tearing skin, picking or biting nails, pulling hair/eyelashes/eyebrows out, cutting skin, burning skin

-Suicidal talk/thoughts/behavior

-Desire to change name-indicates an inner compulsion to rid oneself of the name that has been tarnished by incest and the pain associated with it

-Body memories-even if the mind has repressed/blocked the memory of incest…the body does remember and discomfort, unexpected urges and body aches can be signs of what happened

-Eating disorders- anorexia, bulemia, overeating to cover the pain, becoming obese to make oneself less sexually desirable…all these can be caused by incest

-Alcohol/drug abuse-often used as a way to escape trauma of any type

-Obssessive Compulsive Disorder-(OCD)-the need to obssessively clean oneself or ones surroundings, to repeat checking locks, making sure the stove and iron are off etc. can all stem from incest and the need to have control over things when we have experienced “being totally controlled” against our will

-Sexual addiction/sexual frigidity-going to either extreme can mean that incest has damaged our self image

-Wearing loose, baggy clothing-attempting to hide/protect ourselves from sexual advances

-Fear of abandonment-accentuated because  incest perpetrators frequently use  threats that family will be destroyed if the victim tells anyone of the incest

-Inability to trust-often difficult to ascertain, but trust is destroyed by incest

Please write me with any comments, questions or suggestions you may have.  I’m very open to hearing your thoughts and your experiences!

I keep thinking of how important it is that childhood incest be detected and stopped without delay.  There are so many incest survivor’s desperately trying to recover from its devastating effects and it might have been prevented or stopped short if people were more aware of the signs that accompany it.  In a prior post, I related symptoms of incest which I hope were helpful. In the following posts,  I want to share the additional information I have gained since that writing and the considerable insight I have received from formerly repressed memories.

Please know that these “possible” symptoms vary considerably in the degree to which they point to incest.  There are many other childhood problems, growth stages and simple personality differences that account for these behaviors as well.   The more of these signs that you see in your child, the more likely incest is occurring.  I pray that this information enables you to break through all obstacles to find the truth and if the truth is “incest”, to stop it immediately.   Protect your child from any further pain in the present and know the aftereffects of incest as they will likely need your help with in the future.

I will begin my next post immediately!

As I look back over my life, I am finally realizing the extent to which incest has destroyed my ability to trust.  When I was younger, I would speak of trusting most of my family and a few friends.  I had not begun to retrieve the repressed memories of everything that had occurred in my childhood and I didn’t think much about what trust really meant.

My actions, though, spoke for me and without my even realizing it, demonstrated outwardly how little I trusted others.  I have always been a very introverted person.  During my childhood, up to age 11, I was painfully shy and spent the majority of my time reading and playing by myself.   I pushed myself in junior high and high school to open up more, make friends and get involved in group activities.   I was mildly successful, but it never felt easy or comfortable for me.  I began to depend on alcohol or drugs to “change” me into that fun and outgoing person and by college,  I was using them almost constantly to make me into this other person I wanted to be.   I could say I had many friends, but I was just as insecure and afraid as ever on the inside.  It was all an act and I knew it.

It’s never really stopped being that way for me.  I was able to do well in college because of a high intellect and a lot of last minute cramming for tests.  I had a successful early career in advertising and went on to become a teacher.  Both of these careers required me to put myself “out there” and I made presentations to clients, taught in large classrooms and showed that I could be a good communicator.  I held positions of authority in a number of organizations and devoted my free time to animal welfare, athletic challenges and a great variety of hobbies, but being around alot of people never became “easy” and throughout most of my life I’ve continued to need the crutches of alcohol and drugs.   As I have alluded to in other posts, religious obsession has also been a way for me to break out of my fear.  During those periods, I didn’t use alcohol or drugs, God was my “high”.

As my repressed memories have returned, I have seen that my grandfather’s molestation shattered my trust in loved ones,  isolated me from others and kept me in a state of fear and confusion that continues to this day.  I have found complete trust and love only in my many beloved pets.  Although, I do have three people I trust almost completely, the reality is “almost” is not “all”.

This is a huge question and the answer is different for every single person that survive’s.  However, there are some truths that the experts agree are universal.   One is that incest is the most damaging type of sexual abuse.   It  violates on the physical level and it violates the trust the child has in their caretaker.  It ravages the child’s self esteem.  A child needs to know that the adults they trust to protect them, feed and clothe them are there for them no matter what.  When one of these trusted people betrays a child by forcing them to engage in behavior that is hurtful and humiliating and then makes it a secret with horrible consequences, they destroy that trust.  The child is left feeling alone and cut off from those they can no longer confide in.  They lose all their self esteem because they are no longer in control of their body or even their mind.  They try to say no to their abuser, but their words are ignored.   Nothing they say, no cries of pain, no tears, stop the abuse.   They become an object of no importance or value to the incestor except as a vehicle to the achievement of their physical desires.  They lose their childhood, their innocence and any feeling of control.   When the incest finally stops, the child attempts to embark on the rest of their life.  What they don’t realize is that they will now have to deal with Post-Incest Syndrome.  The damage done by incest now starts manifesting itself in a myriad of disturbing behaviors and compulsions as well as physical and mental illness’s.   The “survivor” has made it through the actual experience, but now they will have to survive the aftereffects.


I remember a few years ago when I first realized I had dissociated during my childhood incest.  At this point, the nightmares had been going on for more than 5 years and I had already realized that my grandfather’s incest of me was part of my life since he compelled my grandmother, dad and mom to let him watch her breast feeding me.  The one memory I had never completely blocked or repressed was the time on the living room floor that I described in an earlier post.  I remember lying next to him on the floor and he was fondling my naked breasts.  Then he said words I’ve never forgotten, “someday, you’ll hate me for this”.   I was 13.   What I finally realized a few years ago is that from the beginning I’ve always seen Grandpa and I from the ceiling a distance away.  This floored me!  How could I an intelligent adult, well read etc.  go all these years and never think about the fact that I didn’t remember this from my perspective on the floor next to him?   Instead, I’d always “watched” it happen from above.   All those years and that seemingly obvious fact was never connected for me.     Our brains are very powerful and when they perceive danger that threatens their existance or ability to function they can completely block the memory of it for decades. 

As I’m writing this, I just put another piece of the puzzle into place.   I’ve always had a memory, just a brief snapshot, of another time when I was about 3 years old.  I was lying in my grandmothers’s bed (my grandfather had his own bedroom) and I was ill.  I remember my grandmother hovering over me and someone else was there.   I asked my mother about it, thinking she may have been the other person.   She said there was never a time that I was sick at my grandparents.   What I remembered as I wrote is that I have always looked down at myself on the bed when I thought about this event.   I was already dissociating at 3 years old.   Now I know that this memory was not what I had always thought.  It was not a sick 3 year old being watched over and cared for by her mom and grandmother.  It was a fragment of an incest memory and my grandmother was there.