Questions: Can abuse be Traumatic if you were unaware is was abuse at the time?

Thinking abuse is normal, even how sex and relationships should work, is common with CSA survivors. Most children don’t understand if and/or why sexual abuse is wrong. Kids don’t have a frame of reference of normal sexual interaction and are generally told by their abuser this is normal, this how relationships should go.

If the sexual abuse happens in the family or other forms of abuse and neglect are happening in the family the child likely has no vision of healthy love. They lack proper affection and connection to adults this gives them no support or backstop, this means the kid is even more likely to not know essentially what real love is.

Not knowing something isn’t wrong doesn’t take away the harm the actions cause. Our brains still read it as harmful, too intense, confusing and painful even when we don’t have a rational understanding of the event. Not having a frame of reference for knowing your being abused can mask the pain to some extent allows people to try and move around like nothing is wrong but it doesn’t mean no harm is being done. 

Feeling hurt and wronged even when you think it’s normal also happens. Everything get’s jumbled what is right, what is wrong, and how to feel. None of that is helped by the grooming and gaslighting commonly used by abusers.

Many abuse survivors especially those abused within the family and/or the abuse lasted for long periods of time don’t know something is wrong until they are confronted in some way that what they lived through was wrong. It can take a lot of learning to become able to understand where lines are, what is acceptable and what’s not.

So not understanding the abuse is wrong can affect how we deal with and understand trauma, but doesn’t prevent trauma or make is okay. 

-Admin 1

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