The Last Time My Mother Sexually Abused Me

Recently the article ‘Was My Mother A Cougar?‘ (yes!) took me to a very uncomfortable place, back to the beginning of my current arc.  Because the way I uncovered my first substantial flashback of incest last June was by starting to list all the times when my mother had acted inappropriately to me and my brother in my late teen years.  That led me to remember being sexually abused as a toddler.  But this time I received a horrifying and vivid image of her sexually assaulting me when I was 18.  One night she had knocked on my door, drunk, and when I opened it she shoved her hands up my shirt and into my underwear, jerking my penis, trying to smother me with her body.  She was just this dense, hideous blob standing there, not looking at my face or responding to any word I said, only caring about her own sick motives, and though I kept trying to push her off me, she didn’t leave until she had what she wanted and I was broken.

Despite the fact that I had repressed this memory, I was shocked by how familiar it was; as if the memory had just been sitting on the tip of my tongue, before it finally popped.  Another time in that period, my mother knocked on the bathroom door and asked if she could come in.  I answered in the clear negative, but she picked the lock and came in anyway, claiming that she thought I was my father.  I remember coming out into the living room and finding her doing some disgusting half-naked dance in front of my father.  And it’s even more disturbing because I know when I was a child she made me dance naked in front of them too, as part of the sick and perverse games she imposed upon me.  One night I was sixteen and sleeping in bed, naked when my mother suddenly started knocking on my door and shouting that she was coming in, she wanted to “look at me” to see what I was hiding by staying in my room.  As she picked the lock I wearily got up and had to put my body against the door while I put on clothes, because she was refusing to wait.

When I asked her to buy me some clothing at 17 (as I was down to one wearable outfit after losing over one hundred pounds) she replied that “your father and I wouldn’t care if you walked around the house naked.”  I bet they wouldn’t.  But I would care, I had boundaries not to mention social needs, such as acceptable clothing to wear outside the house. It strikes me how my needs as a child were entirely superseded by her disgusting sexual desires.  Though she did buy me one more outfit, it didn’t help much.  The irony isn’t lost that she would on the one hand shame and pressure me to ‘get out of the house’ and leave, while on the other she limited my ability to do so.  She was covetous, she wanted me for herself.   She would make a show of crying when I talked about moving out, or transferring colleges, and then claim that it was “just allergies.”

This new memory of course upsets the timeline I’ve been trying to construct, not least of all because I don’t want to have been sexually abused in the time I thought of as the best in my life.  But it was such a good time because I was no longer overweight as I was between roughly 11-16 years old.  Ever since the first summer of my eating disorder, where I spent every day uncontrollably binging to escape the trauma of the sexual abuse I suffered at home.  Finally losing that weight didn’t only help my self-esteem though, it made me physically attractive, which reignited the predatory interest from at least one of the abusers in my family.  My mother made many comments about how good-looking I was, then she sexually assaulted me, and sabotaged my attempts to move out and differentiate myself, become independent.

But all of that ended when I relapsed hard at 19, and spent months binging, purging, fasting…and I gained forty pounds as a result.  After that my mother focused all of her sexual attention on my brother, trying to set him up with her boss at work, talking about how “sexy” he was to all of her friends, embracing him from behind in a really disturbing way…  And she didn’t want me anymore, then she asked me to move out.   This was likely a repeat of what had happened the first time I had gained weight and hit puberty; I was no longer of any use to them.

My mother, (and by extension the rest of my family,) was extremely judgmental when it came to physical appearance.  Besides what she said directly to me, I heard my mother talk about other people all the time, and I felt the sting of those judgments too.  She was always making random comments about how this or that person was ‘chubby’ ‘fat,’ ‘too gay’ etc.  When I once walked in on my brother’s girlfriend in her underwear (she was in the kitchen of our house and thought she was alone) my mother commented later that “you must not have gotten such a thrill, since she’s so flat-chested.”  A disgusting, presumptuous comment to make to her teenage son, but also a really insane way of ‘sizing up’ her other son’s girlfriend.  My mother couldn’t handle the fact that girls did not give me a “thrill” at all, because she was so involved as to see my homosexuality as a rejection of her.   Thus she once claimed that I only “thought I was gay” because my ex-girlfriend was “so dumpy” and thus I just had to find the “right woman for me.”  So disgusting, so insulting…

I internalized these judgments via the insane body image I kept all throughout my 20’s, so sure that no one would even want to talk to me unless as I was as thin as was humanly possible.   But I couldn’t lose any more weight because I couldn’t stop my eating disorder or get over the guilt of having destroyed myself in order to protect myself from her.   I remember at the end of that summer when I was 19 and had begun my eating disorder, my mother rubbed it in my face.  I walked through the house when she was sitting with my brother on the deck.  They heard me, and so she said to him “Do you beleive that Caden was eating cupcakes and stuff that whole time?” and they both laughed and laughed.  My sister had gossiped to her about my eating disorder, and supplied the ridiculous detail (as I never ate cupcakes and I certainly wasn’t doing anything the ‘whole time.’)  But they laughed, they gloated about the fact that I had an eating disorder, that I gained some weight back, that I couldn’t control myself.

The level of intrusion that my mother inflicted on my body and emotional health is practically immeasurable.  I paid for it over and over and over again; I paid with years, with time of my life that I can’t ever regain.  She has not paid, yet.  I feel a lot of shame and embarrassment for having been manipulated like this.  Especially because when I was 18, the only people I had in my life were those who told me it was all my fault, and my mother was blameless no matter what.  My sister was at the top of that list, who only heard my mother’s side but was nonetheless sure that there were no mixed messages and was ready to put herself in my mother’s shoes and never look down at the dry, cracking, rotted skin it gave her.  But they were wrong, after all that I survived in my early life, I was trying so, so hard start a different life for myself.  But she couldn’t keep her hands to herself, respect my boundaries or provide me with the barest assistance in what I wanted to do.  Of course I was retraumatized by that and regressed.  My potential was hanging by a thread, and she fucking cut it.   It’s taken me so long to re-hang with firmer support, but I’m getting there, one link at a time.


About proudlysensitive

I'm a gay male survivor of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
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28 Responses to The Last Time My Mother Sexually Abused Me

  1. Daisy says:

    Hi Caden
    It’s difficult to find the words to respond to your post.

    Your family is truly horrible. Reading the details of your childhood and early adulthood triggers feelings of fear and anger in my body. I can remember how impotent, confused and scared I felt when I was subjected to the violence that was prevalent in my family, I imagine also experiencing the lack of autonomy of your own body on top of that was a staggering burden for you.

    I so admire your determination to live a meaningful life and wish you all the best in your recovery.

    • Thank you so much Daisy, I really appreciate your commenting. I also experienced a great mixture of paralyzing emotions when the abuse was going on. My family was absolutely disgusting, but I’m so glad that I don’t turn that disgust onto myself anymore.

      take care,

  2. So sorry to hear about all the abuse you have suffered as a child and in your teenage years 😦 Your family is a pure example of an evil family… Yet it amazes me to see that you’re so introspective about it and so empathetic towards yourself.

    Best regards,

  3. shoe1000 says:

    Hello my friend,
    I am sad after reading your post. The damage that sick people do is unfathomable……to them.
    I am in your corner and support you on your journey, wherever it takes you.
    By the way. Is that the Greek Theater?

    • Thanks so much J. My ‘mother’ and the rest of the family ran away from the very idea of the damage they caused me by their abuse. And yes, I twisted around the metaphor of Cicero’s sword of damocles in my last two sentences.

      take care,

  4. You are a fine writer, Caden. And a fine human being. That’s something they can never take away from you. Hold fast.

  5. MJ says:

    Reading this wrung me out. I grew up with a mother who sounds a lot like yours, and a father and stepmother who don’t fall far from it either. You’re doing good work, and so, so much is possible for you no matter what anyone has said or done to you. They didn’t ruin you, and your potential is still within you. It’s all there. You’re not broken or defiled or anything else. You’re intelligent and beautiful! So, keep going!!! Best…MJ…

    • Thanks so much for leaving me such inspiring words MJ. I try to believe that and hold it with me, that I still have potential and hope, that my life can change. But it gets away from me sometimes in the ups and downs of my healing work. I’m sorry that you grew up with such a mother yourself.

      take care,

  6. It is exhausting to wade through such painful memories. It is wonderful to read your post because you DID have boundaries, and you still do. I discovered why I have retained such clear memories of much of my childhood trauma…It has been to recall that I knew it was wrong, to recall that I was helpless and could not do anything about my parents cruelty, neglect or insanity. That I was not insane, and that in those moments I always knew what I wanted instead of the abuse. Reading about the absolute violation you have experienced really is a visceral experience for me. I am so happy, however, to read of your ‘more than’ survival. Thank you.

    • Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts with me, Chantelle. I agree, my mind also memorized so many things from my childhood that I never repressed, and I see today that those memories contain so much information that I can analyze and re-interpret today to find my own emotional truth. That is thus a good thing, and helps me understand my repressed memories better as well.

      take care,

  7. JL says:

    Caden, thanks sooooo much for sharing like you do! I am on the other side of the coin, the woman married to the man who’s mother abused him, and we both live with the incredible long term damage which the poor guy doesn’t know when he is shell shocked and enters the adult world! My husband is unable to connect to the abuse even though he knows it in theory and so is incredibly stuck!!! Sadly (actually devastatingly) there is a whole world out there of men like you and they need to know that they are not alone!! To connect to the broken parts of themselves so that they can heal!! Thank you thank you!!

    • Thanks JL, I’m glad to share. It is really hard and takes a long time to sort through and reach a better place after all of the abuse, manipulation, and having to dissociate from one’s reality and feelings. I wish you and your husband the best in facing that.

      take care,

  8. theresareborn2013 says:

    Dear Caden-
    This was tough to read….but it was worth the engagement because I know how much healing this purging is going to bring you….however long you may feel it is taking. We live among monsters of various forms but we can conquer them. Our weapon is perseverance and solid faith. Keep writing, my friend, you have listeners, you have witnesses….and we will all testify.
    God bless you always,

    • Thank you Tricia. You’re right, it is so healing to bring this out, to keep my mother’s secret anymore and not be ashamed of what she did either. Talking about it does a world of good, and we can conquer our abusers and their histories.

      take care and thanks for reading,

  9. dearly says:

    I am going through something similar! Family is full of secrets. Come from a Dutch Christian Reformed background. Had family members do or try to have sexual contact with me and I was the youngest of the family. They are not willing to talk about the past and I’ve moved out of town. The town I was from had a lot of incest occurrences. The people that stay keep up that behavior or move on like me. Hard to keep sharing these stories in small towns when you know the police, teachers and other leaders are intertwined in this mess.

    Glad you are writing this blog. I read your ideas and concepts on your family’s behavior. I agree with your comments fully and understand the sneaky underhandedness of Mothers, Brothers, Sisters and Fathers. I write these in the wrong order because I feel what you feel…people that have proven that they cannot be trusted time and time again….can be people of any age group….gender…sexuality….etc. There are no excuses to harm others….especially family members!

    I was the youngest. The more I tried to bring truth to the open…I was pushed away. I’m sure me living in another city is quite the relief for them….so they can carry on without fear of being exposed and arrested. I was the spoiled one they said to each other and their friends…spoiled? Getting socks and underwear every Christmas while I watched others get a set of skis etc. I watched in horror. I felt like I was in a horror film. I wondered who these people were? I knew this was wrong since I was like 4 years old. Something was wrong with these people.

    I started reading Ninja magazines to learn to hide well from my family when I just couldn’t take anymore. It worked! I’m glad I was smarter then them. I thought they would be upset that I was missing etc. But molesters can be neglectful too. Sad, that I had to figure that out at such a young age! I knew I could hide out in the neighborhood until after 9pm and they didn’t seem to mind. That’s because they had other plans! Like people and personalities, molesters can be different then then the next child molester. I, like you, find that the psychiatrist, counsellor, minister, psychologist or other authorities on the subject just stick to stereotypical reasons for your family’s behavior and stereotypical reasons for your pain. They too…don’t want to get too involved. They have an important job and I get that they have to follow a certain set of rules or guidelines so, reading novels about this topic and making friends that empower you helps more!

    As a protest I skipped every family gathering by staying in my room and planning for the day I would leave. No family really protested. No one came to my rescue. I am glad you escaped. I am gay too. I definitely know that my sexuality is my own. They didn’t create in me or take it away from me! They tried but with no success!

    • Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with me Dearly. I’m sorry you had similar experiences, but I’m glad you got away too. Something big was definitely wrong with your family, and unfortunately it was enabled and abetted by the local environment too. I know that for myself as well, I couldn’t have been abused as much as I was without lots of local authority figures and institutions turning a blind eye or being corrupt. I also came from a small, rural town which I’ve thankfully never seen more of since I left.

      I can really relate on being the youngest and the scapegoat. I too found hiding worked; my parents didn’t care to have me in the room when company came and were happy if I was just ‘out of the way’ regardless of where that was. I remember my mother saying things were ‘better now’ when I was hiding at the library until it closed every night, taking the last bus home after they were asleep, out of fear and to avoid them. Pathological selfishness… Of course that wasn’t really better for me, because we deserved a home where we could feel comfortable, that was a refuge and not a prison.

      And definitely no one ‘made’ me gay either; my sexuality is a beautiful thing, not caused by abuse and not less then other sexual orientations.

      Great points you make,
      take care and I wish you well with self-directed healing, I know it can provide a lot of progress and breakthroughs.


  10. Jennifer says:

    wow… so sorry…. I have a terrible family myself…. been there done that…. it was tough on me too (but in another ways)…. was sexually abused for a long long time as a child, and my mother never believed me…. my father was ok but too absent…. he and my mother divorced and she only got abusive boyfriends after him…. I hated each one of them. Now I’m 24 and moving on…. leaving all this crap behind but one doesn’t simply forget the past…. little by little I’m overcoming.
    All the best xx Jenny

    • Thanks Jenny. I’m sorry you had a similar family that abused and invalidated your experiences afterwards. You’re right, healing isn’t forgetting, it is remembering and honoring ourselves, our rights, dignity and feelings.

      take care and thanks for reading,

      • Peter says:

        My mother molested me when I was 11 and after years and years of emotional abuse. That one act’s had unimaginable implications in my life to this day, 30 years later. The memories only came back in 2006 but only 2 years later did I fully accept them. Since then I haven’t been able to take in part in any family gatherings as I just can’t bear the sight of her. After getting constant encouragement from a woman friend to confront her, I was able to do so 2 years later. She denied everything and said I was having a surge and convinced the rest of my family so by using her ‘credentials’ as a psychologist. I’ve had to endure ghastly feelings of all kinds and frankly there is no healing as we know it (at least for me I do hope) but you can build up different paths to take yourself farther away from the pain. Never compare your life with that of your friends who have never had any similar traumas. Look for genuine kindness and true love in a friend so that they can ( even unknowingly) soothe the pain in your heart. Meditate. Teach yourself new things. Use your proven strength to help people in need and you’ll see it grow even greater. Let music touch your soul. Stay away from drugs. Stay away from negative people. Learn new dances. Meet people from different cultures and countries. Travel. Befriend the elderly (they’re so wise and apt to share so much of their wisdom and affection too). Never take anybody for granted. Now, one thing, if you manage to turn all this negative energy from your past into a positive one, you just might turn out to be like ‘one of those people who have changed the world’.

        • Peter, thank you for sharing this. I’m so sorry your abusive mother was able to exploit her professional background to discredit you. Many people seek such certification for the power it gives them over others, power that can help them escape accountability for their own actions. But the truth stays, even if she denies it, even if they all deny it (as happened when I confronted, too.) What you say is so right on. Learning to not compare myself to others and build a better life is an invaluable journey.

          take care,

  11. Your experiences were truly traumatic. I see why your brain had blocked things out in an attempt to keep from being retraumatized by the memories. Your mother sounds like she has histrionic personality disorder with malignant narcissism …possibly anti-social personality disorder also…and the fear of abandonment could be a co-morbidity with borderline personality disorder, especially if she was very mood disregulated.

    Some times it helps to find out what personality disorders have and to connect with people who have lived with similar abusive people.

    It is good that you are walking through the roots to your psychological damage but it also can be triggering and re-traumatizing,

    There is a lot of support online, if you are careful about the kinds of people you interact with,
    If you have not read the red flags of abuse posts on my site, please do so. It will help to keep you away from abusive people.

    Once we have Complex PTSD from childhood abuse, we are usually primed for being targeted by abusers in our adult lives. I have some posts on these things, If you need links let me know. I will be happy to send them.

    There are predators that look for people who are already traumatized because they can push your buttons and manipulate you. These are malicious, self serving people and I would hate to see you re-traumatized again.


    • Thank you Annie, I appreciate your support. I would say my mother sounds very borderline, as the full breadth of her abusive behavior is on that disturbing level. It is important to protect ourselves from entering into new abusive relationships as adults. I’m trying to learn to listen to myself and evaluate my choices, since it can be ‘easy’ and ‘comfortable’ to go on living in abusive situations since they are so familiar.

      thanks and take care,

  12. bluewallpaper says:

    Hi Caden,
    I am a female coming to terms with my own narcissistic mother, who abused me sexually and emotionally. Reading your story makes me feel so much less alone! My mother also didn’t want me to differentiate or move out. At 26, I am finally becoming financially independent in a city where more people my age are moving home with their families because life is so unaffordable. Thank you for your candor.

  13. gary lee clayton says:

    my mothermolested me when i was a infant 11 months old and child 17 months old in 1954 may 29 1954 and november 5 1954 the days when i had my inguianal hernia operations i would scream scream scream bloody murder someone or somebody either was trying to hurt or harm me in my hospital crib my mother said i didnt know any better she was only 27 and 271/2 years old at the time i was traumatised

    • I’m sorry you’re mother abused you Gary. Her age is no excuse; even if she was 17, she still had no right to abuse you and as you said, you were the innocent party in your infancy, and the believable one. Trauma is worse with more lasting consequences the younger you are, not the other way around despite what so many think.
      take care,

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