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Archive for November 4th, 2008

When I was working through my issues with mother-daughter sexual abuse (MDSA), I joined a private message board for survivors of MDSA called Making Daughters Safe Again. I dropped my membership after the board started charging a nominal fee because I no longer needed the support. However, I wrote a very nice review about how helpful the message board was for me.

I met several quality people there. I was struck by the level of pain that these women struggled with. Many of the aftereffects were similar to those experienced by anyone who has endured severe child abuse, but there were some differences.

One big difference that I noticed was that a significant percentage of MDSA survivors on that board struggled with gender identity issues. Some chose to be called by a male name. Others seemed not to know what to call themselves. It was a much greater percentage than I have noticed over at Isurvive, which is a message board for anyone who has experienced any form of child abuse.

I guess it makes sense that, when your first abuser is your own mother, the sexual abuse is likely to start at a young age and be ongoing. I can also see where the sexual abuse can cause confusion about gender and sexual orientation. I am not saying that same-sex child abuse causes homosexuality, but I have noticed a significant number of people who have experienced same-sex child abuse who are homosexual.

I, myself, have not struggled with gender-identity issues, but having my first sexual experiences at my mother’s hand has definitely affected me sexually. I simply cannot engage in certain sexual acts because my mother did them to me, and I cannot separate out the two. Climaxing in ways that remind me of my mother makes me want to self-injure.

I know women who want to cut their breasts off. They see their breasts as intertwined with the abuse. While they might not call this a gender-identity issue, they go to great lengths to make themselves look more like boys than women.

If you struggle with gender identity issues after MDSA, you are not alone. You can find help and healing. I strongly suggest that you pay the $5 a month to join Making Daughters Safe Again. It is a wonderful resource for women struggling with issues arising from MDSA.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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