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The primary focuses of this blog are adult female sexual abuse survivors, the symptoms they experience, and the implications of those symptoms for diagnosis and treatment.

Histories of childhood sexual abuse often go undisclosed.  The signs and symptoms described in the various posts in this blog constitute a syndrome which can be revealed through careful mental status examinations without broaching the topic of abuse itself.  That makes it possible to have therapy on the right track from the initial evaluation without the danger of suggesting false memories.

There is rampant sexism in the diagnoses given to sexual abuse survivors.  Many posts about their symptoms have to do with hallucinations.  If a war veteran experiences such vivid symptoms, he’s cut the slack of a PTSD diagnosis.  Female sexual abuse survivors, on the other hand, tend to be labeled with all sorts of of serious psychiatric diagnoses such as borderline personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and even schizophrenia itself.  To often, they are over-medicated*, under-treated, and condemned to long-term suffering through ignorance of their trauma and effective paths to healing.  There is enough evidence of a unique syndrome to create a specific subtype of PTSD in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.


Merely reading descriptions of the symptoms which constitute the post-sexual-abuse syndrome has been known to trigger memories and related emotions.  You may wish to consider making sure you have someone to whom you can talk before reading through related posts.


You may see other things here; short stories, poetry, and rants about the decline of English in America (The Language Nazi — comments on the steady destruction of American English through language fads and just plain laziness).  The header picture is of the shoreline at Lake Skinner near Temecula, California, a pretty little lake filled with bass and surrounded by wildlife like waterfowl, bobcats, coyotes and deer.


* It was my observation of group therapy members in later years that medications interfered seriously with progress in treatment. While those medications did help some in reducing symptoms, far less progress was made in recovering repressed memories, ventilating the associated emotions, and permanently reducing the source of those symptoms.

  1. survivor permalink

    My long experiences as a patient in locked down psych, and going to women’s groups, were very enlightening. Most prostitutes were sexually abuse as children. A large percentage of women who have repeated abortions also were sexually abused as children. When a female child is abused they are first taught their body does not belong to them, but some object for someone to take out their sexual perversions on. They feel like a dirty object. For survival they learn to numb where they are used. What I think is important is boys are sexually abused too. Everyone copes differently. Everyone has their own pain. What is dangerous is to think subjectively. My rapes started at age 7 and the last rape I went through was about 5 years ago. How many times can one be raped when it is no longer rape but something familiar?

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, miraclemagic. I’m so sorry to hear that happened to you. Yes — you’re right. The social costs of childhood abuse are many and far reaching. Go into any halfway house for domestic abuse and ask for a raise of hands from those who were sexually abused and pretty much every hand will go up; ditto drug rehab facilities. Drug abuse, prostitution, abortions, pornography, domestic violence, unemployment, homelessness and so many more problems are directly linked to abuse. Childhood sexual abuse is, to my mind, the single most important social problem that exists in our society. In spite of the progress in awareness, it still has a long way to go. (Though not the issue in this blog, elder abuse is where child abuse was 25 years ago. Anecdotal evidence suggests that which occurs in families is but one more spinoff of childhood abuse.)

  2. Todd permalink

    Hi Gerry, it’s me Todd AO aka hamsalad from The Pig Sty. Good Lord, how did I find this, you ask? I was trolling around looking for BBS system history to show a friend how we wasted our “net” time before the Net! I decided to do some searches on The ‘Sty and landed on your posts over at

    How long has it been? 15 years?

    So, here I am. I do hope you are well.

    • It’s great to hear from you, you Swine! That blog allows user validation for posting via WordPress, allowing you to track me down. Not many current users were around, or would remember, the old BBS (sometimes called CBBS … computer bulletin board systems) world. Those were the days, my friend.

    • Todd: I lost track of you and, having been unsuccessful in finding you any other way, decided to try this again. Let me know if you get this.

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