Archive for February 12th, 2009

One of the blessings and curses of suffering from child abuse is having the ability to see things that many other people cannot or do not see. For example, I can walk into a room and “sense” if a fellow child abuse survivor is present. I frequently just “know” that another person has a history of abuse. I cannot tell you specifics: I just “know.” If I get to know the person, she will inevitably share this fact with me at a later time.

I have the same “gift” when it comes to child abusers, and sensing that someone is an abuser is far more disturbing. There are some people that I intuitively dislike immediately. I can sense it deep inside of myself – DANGER! DANGER! I would never leave my child alone with one of those people, no matter how many letters of recommendation the person comes with.

I can frequently sense the energy of another person. I can “feel” the person’s anxiety or sadness. I can sometimes even “feel” a person’s disapproval, even when his mouth is saying that he approves of something.

Because of this skill, I rarely get blindsided by people’s reactions. I can generally “feel” the direction of the energy long before anything is said. On the rare occasions that I am blindsided, it is because I choose to disregard my intuition and listen to what another person is telling me instead. I have learned the hard way always to trust my intuition, even when everyone else around me disagrees with what it is saying.

I suspect that child abusers, as former child abuse victims themselves, share the gift of being able to identify fellow child abuse survivors when they walk into a room. I do not think it is a coincidence that many child abusers just happen to harm children who have already been abused before.

I used to believe that I was some sort of child abuser magnet because of how frequently abusers would harm me, even those who were not from the same “circle.” I truly believe this is because they intuitively knew that I had already been “broken,” so I was safe to harm. I was not going to tell. They were right about that.

How many of you have this kind of intuition? Do you ever just “know things,” even though nobody has told you? Do you think this is aftermath of the abuse? Or are we, as child abuse survivors, more intuitive than those who were never harmed?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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