ask dr-robert

ask dr-robert ask psychologist todos santos ask psychologist dr robert saltzman


I am a 44 year old female and appear to be high functioning and happy to the outside world. What I remember of my childhood (and there isn't much) is a substantial amount of verbal/emotional abuse and a few occasions of physical abuse. However, other than my three wonderful children, I am completely celibate in my marriage of 20 years.

My private sexual practices, which began in childhood, always include abusive fantasies and causing myself pain by using implements, rubbing alcohol, etc. I can relate to the brave people that have written in about attempted oral sex with animals in their childhoods. I have had one panic attack during a gynecological exam and a flashback of my father's head on my husbands body as he walked toward me while I was in bed. I have many other symptoms including scratching inside my ears with something sharp causing double ear infections and sometimes bleeding.

Do you think verbal/emotional abuse would lead to these things? I suffer from anxiety and depression but have just learned to live with it; I am the great imposter.

Thank you.

Anonymous from Chicago.

Dear Anonymous--

Your self-abusive behaviors are most likely the sequellae (outcome) of early sexual abuse (not just emotional or verbal abuse as you wrote) and, although I can only guess at this, the flashback during the vaginal exam suggests that you were sexually abused by your father.

I think you should stop being an imposter, and stop living with self-abuse, anxiety and depression. Find a good psychotherapist and begin healing this damage.

Be well.

Tell a friend about this page!
Their Name:
Their Email:
Your Name:
Your Email:

return to ask dr-robert archives

November 20, 2006

copyright robert saltzman 2006 all rights reserved